Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Flashes of excitement

Forest green sweater for DH
Ah, the age-old cry of the online-shopping knitter: "The yarn is here! The yarn is here!"

Yep...this came in the mail today:

That, my friends, is four (count 'em, 4) pounds of 65% lambs wool and 35% camel down in a gorgeous dark green which I will be using for, among other things, my husband's sweater at some point in the distant future. At 2,400 yards per pound, it's a lightweight gauge yarn. But I don't really care, because I can double/triple/quadruple/whatever it for whatever I want to use it for, because there are four freakin' pounds of it. Maybe after I'm done DH's sweater I'll make a lace shawl. And maybe after that, another sweater! I'll say it yet again - four pounds of yarn!!! (9,600 yards!)

And did I mention that I paid $47.18 for it? Including shipping and currency exchange? That is $11.80 a pound, and it feels great and I love it. Ah, there's nothing like a good deal on yarn to get me in a good mood. Yes, I know we're on a tight budget. I don't care - it's for a sweater for DH so I paid for it out of the clothing budget instead of my fun money. :) Hee!

Herald's tunic for moi
I've mentioned before that I'm in the SCA. One of the things I like to do there is court heraldry. In our Kingdom, I'm warranted (or at least I hope I am, because I sent in my report for the last quarter) as a Herald-at-large. And one of the requirements of being a Herald-at-large is that I have some kind of heraldic regalia of my own that I can put on when 'on duty' so others know I'm a herald. I do have a baldric (...somewhere in my house...) but a tabard would be ever so much better. I could of course sew one, but it occurred to me...what if I knit one? Heck, what if I made a felted tabard? The more I thought about it, the more I figured this was really an inspired idea, since a) I have become increasingly intrigued with felting over the past few months, and b) I am one of those people who is perpetually cold (and it doesn't help that I lost my cloak about a year ago, and haven't been able to find my nice woollen hood for a long time, so there's a real lack of warm medieval garb in my wardrobe).

So yesterday I figured out how I wanted the tabard to look. The body will be green, with the herald symbol on the front and the back. The sleeves will be red, with the red Trillium Herald's seal (reserved for senior staff members of the Ealdormere College of Heralds, which I believe I am, assuming my last report has brought me back as a member of the College in good standing).

The yarn should not be too hard to acquire - I already have some worsted-weight 100% New Zealand wool in green, red and off-white. So all I need now is some yellow - which I'm sure the eBay vendor I bought the wool from will carry one of these days. (There's no rush, because this is slated as a 2006 project.)

Next steps: a) start looking for auctions for yellow wool, and b) knit and felt a test swatch to determine shrinkage. Then I'll be able to design the pattern.

Lacy shawl for baby Muth
I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. These include:

  • poring through any lace knitting books I can find at my local library for help on how to render complex shapes in lace
  • having the pattern I want be worked completely in lace eyelets instead of merely being outlined in lace eyelets
  • having the pattern I want be worked in solid stocking stitch on a lace background, instead of working the pattern in lace on a stocking stitch background
  • designing a romper for this baby and saving the lacy shawl idea for someone else

    Stay tuned. Any help you want to offer would be tremendously appreciated.

    Stornaway shawl for BIL (blue)
    I didn't really have time to do a photo shoot of the sweater today, but I'm hoping to have an updated visual for my next blog entry. The sweater now measures just one inch shy of starting the underarm gussets. However, I'm seriously thinking of working another inch before beginning the gussets, just to make sure the sweater will be long enough. I'm certainly getting a little nervous that it won't be wide enough and that I will have to do some very clever blocking so that the sweater does not cut off the circulation in my BIL's torso. And stretching it width-wise will probably make it a bit shorter, so I'm increasingly convinced that an extra inch or so will be a really good idea. I'm certainly not worried about running out of yarn - the cone is one whole kilogram. (For which, incidentally, I paid $68.13 including shipping and exchange, which works out to $30.90 a pound. For 100% alpaca. Gods, I love eBay.)
  • (Apologies for all the materialistic 'bargain bragging' in today's entry, but I'm high on deals. I will be properly ashamed of how shallow I am tomorrow. Today I gloat.)

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