Monday, May 7, 2007

Alpine Lace: Blocking!

Alpine knit scarf with double rose leaf center pattern and diamond border from Victorian Lace Today (p. 36)

Knitting: check.
Ends woven in: check.
Euculan bath: check
Blocking: in progress.
Beauty shots: coming soon.

The final blocking measurements were 20" by 60". VLT gives final measurements of 18" by 65"; I started with 800 yards instead of the called-for 850 yards. I'm pretty happy with the way the project came out.

Even after a soak, you can still see where I switched skeins--next time I try something like this, I might alternate skeins, but I don't think it's too much of a problem. The first skein was lighter and had some white in it; the second skein had a dark pink instead.

One of the modifications I made was, besides making it shorter, to change the number of center repeats from an odd number to an even number. It seems to me that if you follow VLT's directions, and have an odd number of center repeats, the borders will wind up unbalanced. The way the pattern is set up, you do three full repeats of the border, followed by a half repeat with an internal garter-stitch border and then start the center panel. There are two repeats (8 stitches each) of the center pattern for every one repeat (16 stitches) of the border. So if you end with an odd number of center repeats, the scarf will end in the middle of a border repeat. (This made way more sense when knitting than when trying to explain it.)

I really like this pattern--it's marked "experienced lace" which gave me some pause, but once you actually get started, it makes sense. I did need to keep the chart with me for reference--not a traveling pattern, at least not for me. But it knit up pretty quickly--I started it mid-April, and finished knitting a few days ago. It just took a while to get the ends woven in. :)

The yarn (from Posh Yarns) is so soft, but I found the 100% cashmere was fairly fragile--too much pressure and it broke. This is my first experience with pure cashmere, though. I got used to it and managed to get through the second skein without any problems. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat, though--the colors are beautiful and very subtle, which is exactly what I was looking for. The other lace yarn I bought from them is more vivid, but just as beautiful and just as much of a pleasure to knit with. Definite yarn p*rn.

I had about 4 grams of yarn left over at the end--I wish I had weighed the first skein before starting (the second one weighed 53 grams) so I would have had a more concrete idea of how much yarn I needed for the border. Each center repeat took about 2 grams of yarn, so I might have squeezed in another two repeats, but since my scale only weighs full grams, and not fractions, I didn't want to push it and end up two rows short.

Overall, the verdict is a definite thumbs up: yummy yarn, great pattern, interesting knit!

No comments: