Here’s a thought

I’m late, so you get a short blog. (Hey, guess where I’m going? To buy yarn with Jacqui, you remember Jacqui, Experiment 47A (April 2nd) She’s come over to the dark side in a big way. Big. This trip wasn’t even my idea. Nope, Jacqui called me up and said “Hey, wanna go buy yarn?”. Incredible. Incredible both that Jacqui wants to go shop for yarn and incredible that after she asked me that, she waited for an answer. The mind reels.)

Here’s what I’m thinking. I’ve been pondering what to do with the wool/silk, and here’s my idea. Mock me at will.
First, the 105 metres is not enough to make anything good (here we are using the term “good” to mean “anything I want to make”) so I went digging through the handspun stash and came up with two yarns I feel good about putting with the silk.
From the top, the wool/silk broken blue from the other day, some wool that was the result of discovering that I could “break” dye, and some plain white that is the same as the wool, only not dyed.
Question #1
Do these go together?
Next, trot yourself over and take a look at this scarf. (The one on the bottom) It’s at Fiddlesticks Knitting, where I have spent lots of money and would happily urge you to do the same. Great patterns. Now, despite the greatness of the patterns I’m not talking about using one, but merely one “in the style” of the one that you are looking at, or…did look at when you clicked on the link.
What if, (Warning… this is a new idea for me. Thousands of people may have thought of it before me, but to me…this is radical.) what if I knit a scarf like that but I used those three colours that I just showed you? Yes, three colours, in lace, at once.
Question #2
Is this idea dumbass?
I would do the “body” of the scarf in a vertical lace pattern,in the white; a horizontal lace pattern in the lighter blue, and finally a deep lace edging in the darker blue silk.
I suppose I could knit the main part in two pieces and graft the centre so that the two ends would be identical. How hard could it be? (Yes, I’m aware that I just ruined my chances for making this an easy project by asking that question. Yes, I understand that now it will be hard, and that I have tempted the knitting fates to vex me over and over again.)
Question #3
Generally speaking…Go ahead, or do you all want to talk about the plan a little more?
Concerns, warnings and cautionary tales all accepted.

26 thoughts on “Here’s a thought

  1. Sweetpea-
    I’m wary of using multiple colors in Lace. Frankly, I think if Kaffe Fasset met up with some old lacing lady, the universe would collapse. However, I could see you doing the body in the stuff you made last week, using the light blue for an edging and, and sending the white to me.

  2. I’m with Aubergine; I like the idea of the darker stuff in the middle.
    I also like the idea of multi-colored lace.
    One question about the three yarns — is the silk noticeably softer and drapier than the others? If so, perhaps a tighter pattern than whatever you do for the border would be a good idea.
    I eagerly await the pictures — and hope that the knitting deities are too, and will therefore facilitate the completion of your project!

  3. You lost me at Hello
    Actually, you lost me with the word “graft” – isn’t that just for toes? Would this be like lace intarsia?
    I agree with Aubergine, but I think Kaffe would be hard on your heels nonetheless.
    The colours are super pretty – so I’ll probably just grin and blink at whatever you create and just tell myself that I don’t have to understand it, it’s art 🙂

  4. Wow, knitting bravery = Harlot. I kinda sorta think I get what you’re talking about. You’re a braver soul than I. Then again, you *are* the Harlot. Experiment at will.

  5. Have you ever looked at “Creating Original Hand-knitted lace” by Margaret Stove? See page 131. I am in love with this (maybe not everyone’s taste, but I lust after it) It is in shades of blue and green with touches of yellow and pink. And then think of feather-and-fan, and old shale. Simple lace improved greatly by adding some colour. I have a stole I bought in Lerwick that is cream, light brown, darker brown, darker yet, and shetland black in the old shale. People stop me on the street when I wear it, telling me how much they like it.
    I think it would look awesome. If it was me, I’d probably shove in a little (like a stitch here and there) of something dark for zing. (the Ukrainian magpie in me)
    Grafting the middle…great plan. If you are going to all that work, a little more is nothing. It wouldn’t be hard at all if you managed a lace that somewhere had 3 plain rows in it, then you could end one plain row each piece and the grafting gives you the third.
    You are the Harlot, the boss of yarn. Go for it!
    Barb Brown

  6. I don’t think that the use of multiple colors in lace is unprecedented. Heck, not even the use of entrelac in lace is unprecedented.
    Here’s a picture of a multiple color lace project:
    If you can wait until October and make it to Idaho, there’s a class you can take:
    I am sure I speak for all of us – we await details of your progress with popcorn, chocolate, and wine by our sides, eyes glued to the screen.

  7. One caution, though: the yarn with the silk in it will stretch and not match the others, lengthwise, over time. It’s just the nature of silk yarn. I could invite you to come on over and I’d show you numerous examples (I have a cardigan I leave unbuttoned and pretend the front is supposed to be way longer than the back; it’s a deep V-point at the fronts, right? On purpose, right?)

  8. I think the concept is fantastic and it has the potential to be a very striking piece!
    The only thing I would reiterate is the look off the different fibers over time.
    Also, I like the white on the inside with a progression of darker colors.

  9. After the entrelac socks, how bad could it be? I like the idea. Or-have you considered blending the colors in the currently hot Ombre fashion? Everyone is doing the Phil Onde sweaters right now and that’s exactly what I thought of when I saw that lovely pile of yarn. Why not an ombre lace shawl?

  10. I say, kick it – what’s the worse that could happen? Rippin’ it out and starting over again… But then, I tend to be reckless like that – I have no fear apparently, being a novice knitter, well, other than figuring out knitting in the round…
    Anyway, you like fiddling about with patterns, so why not use those luscious yarns and try it out? A friend of mine does crocheted hats like that with the yarn she spins… here are some examples:
    Go in, kick it around and try it, you’re so wonderfully talented anyway, Harlot 🙂

  11. Um, is the gauge of your handspun compatible with the gauge recommended for the lace pattern? Since you carded some merino in with the silk, there is much less risk of differences between the wool and the combo yarns becoming more marked with age and wear. However, since two of the three have been dyed, have you done an equivalent hot water treatment for the undyed yarn so it won’t do the shrink-o-rama thang when you wash the finished scarf?

  12. Ditto on the different yarn content — definitely make sure everything has been washed well to keep uneven shrinkage at a minimum. As to whether the colors go together, well, I just do not completely trust colors on monitors. The wool-silk clearly has a different texture (is there enough for an edging??), but I cannot tell how the two blues look together. I would agree with the “light to dark” argument except that those blues look pretty close on my monitor and the white seems a very strong contrast.
    Dare I say swatch?

  13. Sorry Harlot, but I’m not convinced. I do like the feather and fan or ombre style colour progression idea – but you may need to get spinning again (and I would love to watch and learn – you show us rats and then beautiful yarn – very mysterious to me)
    What I really see is a larger quantity of a fourth laceweight or mohair type to carry along and your 3 others ombre-ing through. Of course it would be a more dense lace – something like the triple mohair triangle shawl here:
    Whatever you decide I will be watching in awe.

  14. As I have stated before, I LOVE knitting lace. It wasn’t until I happend upon Kat Coyle’s web gallery that I knew you could do multi colors in a thin, laceweight project. Her stuff is stunning, (even though she never emailed me back). I would love to see how you do it. I have a pale pink, daisy lace, summer scarf waiting for it’s contrasting edging, but I wasn’t ready to brave it just yet. Maybe I’ll wait a little longer…..:-). We are a really selfish group of blog fans, aren’t we? “Let the harlot blaze the trail, she’s tough!”
    I say, do whatever you want. It’ll probably turn out beautiful. I personally like the flirty ruffles shawl at fiddlesticks. In black, I think it’d be dang cute with jeans.

  15. Stephanie, go for it!! There is no written law or rule that I know of that says you can’t use as many colors as you want in lace knitting.

  16. I recently made a laceweight shawl, 65/20/15 cashmere/silk/cotton, down to my knees; after a few months, with only that much silk in it, and despite being well blocked, it’s halfway to my ankles…

  17. Have you checked the yardage of each skein? the grist? the hand? and the stretch/memory factor? (put your hands inside a skein and move your hands hands away from each other…if it was say targhee the skein would strrrrrrretch and then bounce back. Assuming these skeins are dead ringers for each other in the above quiz then go for the colour blocking in lace as you have suggested. If there is a noticeable difference then I would steal an idea from the weavers. They use a mixed warp when the yarns/threads are different. For knitting I would do more frequent bands of each yarn. The bands do not have to be the same width but like some of the old shale patterns you can use a row or two on a regular basis of the smallest quantity of yarn. It doesn’t have to be old shale but should have a repeat that looks planned to balance out the colours, quantity, matt vs. lustre and difference in hand. If the grist is considerably different you may to double up the thinnest yarn. I doubt that is the case from your pictures. Also if you need more yarn, spin now so that you can incorporate the new yarn in a planned fashion.
    Regards to he ladies and Joe.

  18. Dear Dear Harlot,
    Why oh why are you giving up so much of your knitting artistry to the advice of this fickle fickle group of blog fans (self included)?
    It’s great to have interested input and suggestions, but you know very well that what really matters is your own gut instinct, and going against that gut feeling (like, um, entrelac socks will suck) will likely lead to disaster. Poll for advise, but always hold that advise against your own inner knowledge before plunging in with needles.
    Sounds to me as though the combo thing could work. I wouldn’t worry too much about the silk stretching more than the wool if the silk is used for an outer border – especially if knit perpendicularly around like the border of the snowdrop shawl. Let the wool center hold the shape, and the border can ruffle a bit if it wants to.
    I have to agree that it’s hard to judge the color differences between the blues with a computer pic. Perhaps the center could be the blue wool, then the first border with white wool may separtate the blues from direct comparison, followed by the blue silk/wool for an outer border?
    As far as grafting the center halves of the scarf to keep the ends matching – well, I know my grafting talents are horrid. I would do a provisional cast on, knit from the center to the end until half the yarn is gone, then pick up the provisional cast on and knit from the center to the other end before proceeding with borders.
    If the idea inspires you, then go for it. You may get one of your happy surprises, or you may get exactly what you planned. What you won’t get is something you knew you shouldn’t knit from go!
    My vote would be to go for it. The vote that really matters is your own.

  19. No one has mentioned whether or not the colors “go together” and I am not convinced. The purply-periwinkle seems to be the same in both blues, but in one the other shade seems so much *teal-er*… but that could be a monitor thing. I would almost see a lighter color between the white and either of those yarns, but I probably wouldn’t put them both together.
    That being said, I totally agree with Maddy. You really ought not listen to us at all. Speaking as one who thought the entrelac would be “neat,” our whims should not always be considered advice.
    *That* being said, it sure would be fun AND educational to watch the creation of a piece just like you describe.

  20. Keep in mind that it may not turn out the way you expect it to, but anything you knit will be lovely. A finished project *always* has virtue. The colors will go together, possibly with a little dissonance, but if you finish the scarf, everyone will assume you intended it to be the way it is, as long as the selvages are relatively even (or ruffled). Try it!

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