Friday, January 26, 2007

Red Hot Seduction

LotusBody.jpgThe day after I finished the baby blanket, I picked up Lotus again. That afternoon, I made a decision. I hated Lotus. Well, not exactly Lotus—just the knitting of it. I guess I just don’t like doing colorwork. I’ve known for awhile that hate intarsia, but I thought I liked stranding. Maybe not. Or at least I’m not a big fan of doing so much stranding.

Boy was I grumpy those first few days back working on Lotus. Then I fell into a nice two-handed stranded rhythm and I was happy again. Lotus was growing quickly. “It’s not so bad after all,” I thought. Then WHAM I hit the neck shaping. Dale of Norway sweater patterns are often written such that the body is worked back-and-forth (rather than in the round) after the neck shaping. I know that there is a way to work the neck shaping without casting off so that you can continue working in the round. However, I don’t know how to do that because I know precious little about steeking. I didn’t take the time to learn because I just wanted to finish up.

ShinyRed.JPGNormally, when I’m working a sweater, I’m very excited about starting the sleeves because I feel like I’m almost done. This time, I cast Lotus aside and started something new. Something that has been calling me. Something that has been tempting me. Something that I had to have the moment I saw it. Kidsilk Night in Dazzle, also called SHINY RED!

Shiny Red Kidsilk seduced me into buying it without a pattern in mind. I usually don’t buy yarn unless I know exactly what I’m going to use it for. That way, I get the right amount of yarn and I’m not building up too much of a useless stash. When Peter learned that the yarn was an impulse buy, he scolded me for becoming “one of those knitters who just buy yarn to have it.” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that I have always told Peter that he should be happy that I buy yarn with projects in mind and that I’m really saving him money buy doing so, blah blah blah. It helps me justify spending so much money on yarn.)

KarisPhoto.JPGAs a result of my impulsiveness and Peter’s stern looks, I had to find a pattern for the yarn and fast. I looked at various shawl patterns and various KSH patterns until I saw the Karis poncho from Rowan 36. The photo in the magazine is terrible (out of focus), so I started Googling to find photos of completed Karises. I found some beautiful examples and I learned something interesting: Karis is knit flat and seamed in the back!

What I really wanted to make from this yarn was a cape, but I hadn’t found a cape pattern that I liked. From the photos of Karis that I saw, I felt that I could knit the pattern, not seam it, add a button or ribbon, and wear it cape style! Yes, it could be so. Right after I had my little revelation, I found that E had made her Karis into a cape! I emailed her to ask her how Karis worked as a cape and she said that it looked good. We emailed back-and-forth for a bit and I mentioned that I was hoping to find someone who had the pattern because I didn’t want to buy the whole magazine just to get one pattern. E kindly offered to let me borrow her pattern! I was so amazed and thankful.

KarisStart.JPGBecause I’m working this as a cape, I decided to “pretty up” the front edges. This involved some fiddling with the stitch count, and changing some of the unspecified increases to yarn overs. I also had to chart the pattern because I hate reading lace patterns that are written out. But it's working out and it's knitting up quickly. Yay me! Yay E! Yay Shiny Red!



Edit to add: Amanda the lurker who left a comment on the last post--please tell me your blog url. Email me (address in side bar) or leave another comment. New blogger seems to have lost your identity. :-)

12 comments:

Meredith said...

Ah, so that's what it will look like. Very nice!

And Lotus is looking great--I hope you can finish!

Jennifer said...

A cape will be lovely! What a gorgeous red too.

the kitchener bitch said...

Okay, I'll grant you that Lotus looks like a PITA to knit, but it is GORGEOUS. I absolutely love the colorwork! The KSH is nice, too, but I'm gobsmacked by the Lotus sweater.

Amanda said...

Hi it's me, Amanda the luker! I absolutely love your Lotus. I can understand your dislike of so much colorwork. I just started my first stranding project and I am having major tension issues.

I love what your doing with Karis! I think it's funny... My husband is the same way with yarn purchases.

Jeanne said...

I dislike color knitting myself. Mosiac is my color knitting of choice. That said the Lotus is GORGEOUS!

amylovie said...

Oooo! Shiny red yarn! Laura's version of heaven.

Amy

Rachel said...

Shiny red? I'm all distracted by the pale purple! Lovely new look, though I'm surprised it's not pink.

I'm glad your yarn didn't sit unassigned in your stash for too long. I should think your yarn-buying rationale for Peter is still intact.

Mintyfresh said...

Very cool--glad you found a way to make the thing you really wanted yours. Can't wait to see more.

Debby said...

Love, love, love the Kidsilk Haze Night and am dying to buy it in Pearl. I was going to suggest that French Girl Diamanta pattern for your yarn, but it sounds like you've found something you're really happy with, and I can't wait to see how it knits up!

Lotus is pretty. But it sounds like one of those high-maintenance projects that may not be worth the pain. I know you will keep at it until it's finished, though!

turtlegirl76 said...

Oooh that's going to be pretty!

The baby blanket turned out great as well. Sorry about your woes with Lotus. When you eventually finish it, I'm sure you'll forget all about the PITA it was to make. Much like birthin' a baby, right?

kelp! said...

SHINY! Who can resist the shininess, really?

Lotus is looking really lovely, but I can definitely see how you need a break from all that stranding...

Terby said...

I can totally see you wearing Lotus, even if it's being a pain.

Shiny. Shiny shiny red. I'll be interested to see how that looks as a cape. (How is it different from a shawl, then?)