Friday, March 31, 2006

home, home again

... which means pictures. :) WIPs first, because I like to put FOs in their own posts (but I promise, pics of the scarf are coming soon).

Caribbean Sea Stole (in its lumpy state):

Caribbean Sea Stole

And pinned out:

Caribbean Sea Stole - pinned out

Honestly, I love this stole, but it's slow going. I've pretty much memorized the lace pattern - all 32 rows of it - and it's very very repetitive. Also, there's a lot of plain stockinette in there. And there's patterning on both rows (decreasing into yarnovers is a PITA). So... I get bored of it pretty easily. I've been bringing it to knitting group because I can get a lot done on it there, especially when I don't bring other projects to distract me.

And speaking of other projects... I cast on for my Satori sweater on Tuesday. Three days later, I'm through half the waist increases.

Satori sweater

Thanks to the large gauge (14 sts per 4" - though it doesn't feel the slightest bit bulky) the sweater is growing rapidly. And the colors are so beautiful! The picture doesn't begin to reflect the gorgeous subtleties, ranging from a deep forest green to a rich purple. My only concern with this is that I might run out of yarn... my row gauge is significantly off (I'm getting 20 rows per 4" instead of the 17 called for) and when I multiplied the yardage called for by 20/17, I got 558 yards. My cone has 563 yards. Cutting it close much? Since I'm working from the one large cone, it's hard to tell how much yarn I've used and how much I have left... but, I think I'll be finished or I'll run out of yarn soon enough that I'll just risk it for now and call Artfibers if/when I have a problem.

My sockapalooooza socks are finished, so it's time to start thinking about the next pair. My second SP package came just in time yesterday and now I know exactly what to do next!

package #2 from my secret pal!

The yarn is KP Palette to make these fair isle socks. I've been wanting to try fair isle for a while now so these will be perfect! My mom took one look at the yarn and pattern and mentioned that the last pair of socks I made for her is starting to get a little stretched out... but when I told her the yarn is hand wash only, she agreed that it wouldn't be the best for her. I have some green sock yarn in the stash to make another pair for her anyway, so these will be alllllllll mine. *evil laugh*

Also in the package was a notebook, an ever-decreasing pile of chocolate, and three knitting magazines. It's so springy out that I'm feeling the need for warm-weather knits, so I flipped through the spring 2005 Vogue Knitting she included and instantly fell in love with this cabled tank and bolero:

cabled tank from VK spring 2005silk bolero from VK spring 2005

And, there are 6 pretty lacey scarves that I love:

lacey scarves from VK spring 2005more lacey scarves from VK spring 2005

Now I just have to decide what to make first! Thank you so much Secret Pal!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

hello, spring!

I blocked my Silk Garden mini-Clapotis last night, and it appears that I have perfect timing, because today was the first day in a long time that did not require a scarf. Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic that spring has finally sprung, but... I want to wear my pretty scarf!! It ended up a lot longer than I expected - just over 80" lying flat, and a little longer than that when the ends hang down. The scarf is almost 2 feet taller than me. And to think I considered adding fringe... ;)

Since I like to wash multiple things at the same time when I get the chance, I washed and blocked my Satori swatch last night too. And it got me to thinking - on paper, these yarns are pretty similar.

Noro Silk Garden:
45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambswool
109 yards/50 g
18 sts/4"

Artfibers Satori:
69% silk, 25% superkid mohair, 6% extrafine wool
110 yards/50 g
14 sts/4"

Satori has considerably more silk and a larger gauge, but they're both silk/mohair blends with a little wool thrown in. Seeing the two yarns next to each other, however? Well... it's like night and day. And I mean that quite literally, these 2 pieces create a very interesting color study. The Silk Garden is the "rainbow" colorway (there's a good picture here - in that picture where the 4 skeins look like different colorways, they're actually showing the huge range of colors found in this one colorway). It is bright and cheery and each stripe is vastly different from the next. The Satori is color 8 - a blend of subdued gray with hints of silver and a deep eggplant. The color shifts and changes in such a subtle way.

And then there's the difference in the feel of the yarns. To me, Satori makes the most of each of its fibers. It has the rich sheen of silk, the slight halo of mohair, the springiness of wool. Silk Garden... doesn't. The mohair doesn't fuzz up at all, the silk isn't shiny, and I've heard many reports of it growing and stretching out of shape. I think people use SG because it's like a softer version of Noro Kureyon (which isn't saying much), and they love the color changes. And I guess I understand their logic, the color changes are unlike anything else. But. I don't know, I guess I'm missing the appeal. If I'm spending that much money on yarn, I want something that feels nice, that isn't filled with knots or vegetable matter. I'm really glad my old SP sent me the Silk Garden, because I'd wanted to try it for a long time, but I don't think I'll be using it again. Whereas I'd say that if you have the chance to use Satori (or Kyoto, the solid-colored version), don't think twice. It's pricey, but worth every penny.

Okay, I promise this is my last post rambling about how much I love this yarn. At least until I cast on for the sweater...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

satori and updates

From Wikipedia: "Satori on the other hand refers to 'deep' or lasting enlightenment."

The people at Artfibers came up with the perfect name for this yarn. It is so unique - the silky sheen, the mohair fuzz, the gorgeous variegation. But I know that the garment created from it will be classy and timeless. This is a fabulously soft, beautiful yarn and I am really enjoying the experience of working with it. I knit a swatch yesterday and I can't wait to block it so I can start the actual sweater. Knitting with Satori is a wonderful tactile experience, I almost wish it came in a smaller gauge so I could make it last longer! Oh, I think I am in love.

I'm still plugging away on the Baltic Sea Stole, I think I'm almost done with the third repeat. Each repeat is 32 rows, so it takes a while. I found myself in a bit of a rut after the first repeat, because the pattern hadn't emerged enough to keep me interested, so I set it aside for about a week. But now that I've gotten a little farther, it is really starting to take shape, and it is gorgeous! (If I do say so myself. ;)) I'm also working on my Sockapaloooza socks - finished the first one, and I'm almost done with the toe of the second. Trying to avoid Second Sock Syndrome, and also get it done by the end of March for the sock-a-month knitalong.

I've been working like crazy recently, and not getting much done. I hate when that happens. So, um... I'm going to bed.