Thursday, October 27, 2005

In the studio

Shawl, black rayon and nylon, size 11 cable needle, garter stitch

Although normally I'm not keen on knitting with nylon and rayon yarns, this is an exception. There's something about the way that this "yarn" drapes and reflects light that I love. It's South West Trading Company's Melody yarn, and it comes in 400 yard balls.

Although these "ladder" yarns have been around for the last few years, I haven't tried knitting with them as the solitary yarn until now. I've been using them as shiny bits in my more complex fabrics. But then I saw a shawl in one of my favorite shops, the Woodstock Wool Company, and I had to try it. The secret to getting a wonderful fabric that doesn't look plastic is to use largish needles and make it more of a lace or net than a solid fabric. In this piece the shiny rayon squares are distributed in a mottled pattern through the lace and the drape is superb and it is very sensual. And black.

In the last couple days I've been unable to resist experimenting with crochet. Since I have this yarn in bougainvillea, sky blue, purple and taupe I have plenty for experimenting! I'm trying a circle capelet using an improvised lace stitch pattern in the sky blue color. I'm trying a smallish hook and checking out the texture with the rayon squares put more closely together than the knit piece to form a sort of broken shiny surface. Instead of the spaces being evenly distributed, like the effect from the large needles using garter stitch, I'm making typical crochet lace spaces. Well...I guess I have to get out the camera and show you. Photos to follow.

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