Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Yarn Whisperer

My friend Natalie at the Yarn Yard dyes beautiful yarn. This is not news. She creates yarn in all the colours of the rainbow. Sometimes, at the end of the day, when she is trying to make sure that she uses every last drop of dye she produces colours that the rainbow hasn't thought of. And sometimes she says, Jane,I've dyed a skein that I think you will like, and it's always one of these end of the day creations....

This is what happened with this skein of Crannog, her tightly spun heavy lace weight merino. We were sitting at her kitchen table while an enormous pile of yarn lay nearby. Natalie dived into the pile and extracted this one which was different to any of the others and said - 'This one's yours!' She was right - I love it! The colour is difficult to describe, a sort of greenish grey that looks like bronze in some lights.

Choosing a pattern for a favourite skein of yarn can often be quite difficult. I wanted something reasonably simple which would let the yarn do the talking. I cast on Alceste by the very talented Asa Tricosa. It is a very elegant, open piece which suited the yarn well. I could see myself wearing it...




But sometimes, with the best will in the world, even with the vision of a beautiful, wearable piece in my mind's eye I just can't get into a rhythm with the pattern. This I hasten to add has nothing to do with the pattern which is gorgeous! It must just be the way my brain is wired. I got about a third of the way through and found that I was still welded to the charts and counting out every row, making it impossible to relax while I was making it even thought it is not a complex pattern and has beautiful clean lines. But for me, knitting is as much about the process as the product so the project languished. But I couldn't forget about that beautiful yarn. It wasn't going to let me leave it unknit!


So one day I gritted my teeth and ripped out half a metre of beautiful knitted fabric. Grrr....


Then I cast on Lilah from the latest issue of Knitty and everything fell into place, my needles flew and in no time at all I had a beautiful shawl! I think the yarn and pattern really suit each other - sometimes it reminds me of the gilt frame around a painting as the colours work with each other in the light.




The pattern is simple but with enough changes to keep it interesting.
The 800 metres in a skein mean that I can create a substantial shawl which I have worn lots of time already.


Blocking it took up most of the space on the bed.




Much to the disgust of Mr Talsi....

5 comments:

Pen at Oliver Boliver said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Hate ripping a project back but when you get that feeling you know you've just got to do it.

natalie said...

It was very much a Jane Skein, wasn't it?
Beautiful knitting.

Maybe I could see it if you bring it next weekend?

Z of ZKNITZ said...

This is really a pretty color, but it looks real hard to work.

But it's nice to look at, definately!

LittleBerry said...

beautiful shawl and appropriate for that colour...

drkknits said...

seriously, the look on your cats face is priceless! obviously he doesnt know a GORGEOUS shawl when he sees one. im glad you swapped, totally the right decision.