The Daily Purl


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promising

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Cornus florida
Yesterday, buds on the flowering dogwood I planted last year trying to bloom during an early morning rainfall.
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Lace weight cashmere from Habu, Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK
Today, knitting in deep rich colours. I couldn’t be more satisfied at the moment. I hope it lasts.


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FO : VLT shawl

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Pattern: Spider’s-web shawl, Victorian Lace Today
Size: Half hexagon
Finished Measurements, approx. 75” across top, 24” from middle center down to bottom of shawl
Yarn: silk merino hand painted lace from Yarn Ahoy etsy store in color chocolate cinnamon, 1 skein
Needles: 4.5 mm, 5 mm and 5.5 mm circular addi turbo
Modifications: ended shawl after working Chart C once using 5.5 mm needles (the pattern calls for this chart to be worked 4 more times using 6 mm needles, resulting in a completed half hexagon 84” x 36”), single crochet bind off
I’m not sure what drives me to knit lace. A burst of passion for the delicate yarn and interesting stitches carries me through the bulk of a lace project. What is it that calls you to gather lace weight yarn and needles and find a seat next to good light? In this case I was drawn to the shawl featured on page 42 of VLT – the idea of strolling in a lush garden draped in hand knitted lace, the simple Barège pattern highlighted by the surrounding greenery. It speaks of leisure and elegance, a feeling that I wanted to try to recreate with my needles. This is the first time I used variegated lace weight yarn and I think it worked well in this pattern, but in general it’s a risky endeavor, no? The blocking process didn’t go as smoothly as usual: the yarn bled a lot in the sink, I really could have used blocking wires to get the hexagon shape perfect. I didn’t knit the last four repeats of Chart C – I had my fill of the Barège pattern and realized that the finished size (84”) would mean coming up with a creative blocking surface plan.
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Layers of lace & tissue, ready to be mailed to its recipient.
Cross posted at the Victorian Lace Today kal


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roza’s socks

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Pattern: Roza’s Socks by Grumperina, IK Spring 2007
Yarn: Brooklyn Handspun Signature, Minty Subtle Solid, 1 skein
Needles: Lantern Moon Sox Stix ebony dpns, 2.25 mm
Loved knitting this pattern. It has a nice balance of both interest and ease on the needles. Although I started knitting these socks in March, I knit the entire second sock this past week. I definitely consider them my Project Spectrum socks! Besides being one of the softest pairs of socks I own (something about that Signature yarn, it’s seriously soft knit up) I also really love the way they look – horizontal texture and vertical elegance.


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natural yarns

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Fibers are the core of knitting, and there is a wide range of wonderful natural yarns that are available and becoming more accessible as knitters seek the creature comforts that only Mother Nature can offer.
The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright
I first saw a preview of this book over at Fluffbuff and then learned a bit more about Barbara Albright at Zeneedle. I casually mentioned the book to my parents a few weeks ago (that I was at the book store to get two books, they had this one but didn’t have the knitting book I was hunting for…) and next thing it was in my mailbox via Amazon! The Natural Knitter is required reading for every knitter looking to pursue a life filled with natural yarns and fleece. The quality and substance of this book makes it stand out from the others on my shelves. A wealth of information on fibers (camelids, goats, bunnies, other fiber-bearing beasties, silk, linen …) plus a nice selection of patterns by well known designers (Norah Gaughan, Debbie New…).
My favorites include Memories of Ukrain by Lidia Karabinich, Architectural Rib Pullover by Norah Gaughan and the Pineapple Overtop by Setsuko Torii (using, yes, Habu Textiles 100% pineapple fiber).
I’m far from perfect when it comes to reining in my consumption of yarns, but I would like to think that my stash reflects quality not quantity, with a focus on naturalness. I like knowing the source of the fiber and yarn and the impact the purchase has on the earth. I wonder if I could knit with only natural yarns the rest of the year? After seeing the yarns used in this book and in the Resources pages there are plenty of familiar ones to choose from, Blue Sky Alpacas, Green Mountain Spinnery, Habu Textiles, Lorna’s Laces, Morehouse Farm and Mountain Colors to name a few. I’d like to try and this book is the perfect guide.
And lest you think I’ve forgotten what month it is, I do have two PS socks blooming in my knitting basket that I hope to share with you later this week!


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color comfort zone

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With regards to the Skye Tweed in yesterday’s post – it’s the color (not the yarn) that’s not working for me.
Now don’t think I’m crazy, but after holding up the pieces and taking a look in the mirror, I realized the color just didn’t look good on me. And while I think it looks beautiful in the photographs, I wasn’t sure how much I would actually wear it. I tend to wear lots of gray wool and cashmere sweaters and would like to add a hand knit one to my collection. Boring? Maybe. But it’s what I wear – and I really want to wear my hand knits. (Do my swatches tell a different story? Maybe I’m just going through a phase. Maybe it’s the weather.)
ETA: This Equestrian Blazer is lovely!