Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One skein of lace weight merino ...

A lady once came into the yarn shop and hunted for laceweight merino wool. Not only is it soft and lovely, it is incredibly cost effective: you get about 1200-1600 yards for $10-20. (That yardage in worsted weight makes an adult sweater; in sock weight, it makes 3-4 pairs of socks) It is also small, so it can be a purse project to keep you busy for a really long time. For those of us with limited budgets and only little snippets of time to stitch, a hank of laceweight may be the methadone of yarn addiction (and I mean that in a good way).

So not more than 6 months ago, I started working on a small shawl project from a single hank of laceweight merino from my stash, with a size 00 hook. Suddenly, I couldn't think of any of my other projects and ideas. Finally, I finished the project. My new favorite stitch: ch-2 net stitch. Firm enough to be a subtle lace pattern, stretchy enough to make all kinds of things from afghans to socks to shawls. More on that in another post.

Looking back over previous posts:
  • A neat addition to a bookmark, of course, is a paperclip at one end to attach to the book itself (a cover of a paperback or an inside page or spine of a hardcover) so the bookmark does not disappear.
  • Motifs can be really fun -- fancy ones just for themselves, but I am exploring some simple ones that can be blocked into different shapes for completely different looks.
  • Also, there is the idea that stuff that looks great in thread for lace can be equally useful in heavier yarn for afghans -- the mile-a-minute concept being a traditional case in point.

Now I am off to my next pair of socks. It is really nice to start a new project.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Design Elements

It's a common joke among needle workers that there are no mistakes only design elements. There are a lot of short cuts, too. Often, if you don't know how to do something, you can find a way around it.

Socks are a great example. If you don't want to use double pointed needles, there are ways to use circulars. If you don't want to do short rows, you can make tube socks or use the "afterthought heel."

Once, I was working on some baby socks for a friend and I didn't have a darning needle to close up the toe when I was done. I figured out that Kitchener is not absolutely necessary--you can work around it. If you decrease the toe just like you would the top of a hat and gather the remaining stitches, it works just fine. In that case, it came out cuter than originally planned, because I only decreased three stitches in each round, making a pointed toe.