Friday, August 18, 2006

If the River Was Whiskey*

Thanks to Wendy for linking to me yesterday. Much fun! More on Handmaiden Sea Silk throughout this post and you can see the finished shawl in Sea Silk in Tuesday's post (still on this page).

Last night, I told Bean to stop scratching one of the ant bites on her hands. She told me, "I'm not scratching it! I'm smoothing it. See, this is scratching (demonstrates scratching with fingernails) and this is smoothing (rubs side of finger over itchy part of other finger)."

She's got me there.

I'm now headed downstream on River. I've completed 9 repeats. The pattern calls for 11, and I think I have plenty of yarn. It'll be done when it's done.

I've finally gotten the rhythm of the pattern. I think my earlier problems were due to the fact that it's the most boring knit in the world. I don't do well with boring.

I've been thinking alot about Sea Silk vs Kidsilk Haze. The cracklike seduction of Sea Silk is pretty equal to that of the KSH. Both yarns feel so lovely as you knit them and both block beautifully. I'd give the Sea Silk a slight edge because it's easier to tink/frog!

The edge to Sea Silk is also influenced by the fact that we are in our 34th day of temperatures over 100F (that's real temps, not adjusted for humidity).

I have some hints for blocking sea silk. Don't let it sit in the water for too long. I usually let wool shawls soak for 10 - 20 minutes, depending on the yarn used. The Sea Silk got totally soaked in maybe 3 minutes. It will also retain a bit more water after soaking, so it will take longer to dry than something from KSH. I used dental floss to help keep the center line and top of the shawl straight. The sea silk shows crooked blocking much more than any of the yarns I've used for shawls this summer.

I keep thinking it's time to break out a Miss Bea's book and get knitting for Bean. Then, I remember it is 106F outside. Bleh. Even lace is sort of hot and steamy. I'm thankful that River is a stole so I can drape it over the arm of the chair and not knit with a lapful of mohair. I don't think I could handle it.

Since it's not likely to be sweater weather any time soon, I do have two candidates for the next shawl:

A Habu log cabin-influenced stole


Kiri in Kidlin Pixie

I'm open to other suggestions for the Pixie, but I only have 750 yards of the stuff which is a pretty big limiter.

I have no idea what will happen with the pile of Habu. No plan of attack. I do have a pile of groovy yarns, so it will be mostly about texture.

The Kidlin Pixie is also really intriguing - it's a strand of mohair paired with a strand of linen.

Which one do you think I should cast on next?

Leave a comment and I'll draw a name at random and send someone a nice yarn prize. (I had this planned before Wendy linked to me, so the link was sort of seredipitous.)

(*T. Coraghessan Boyle. A collection of short stories including the wonderfully titled "Sorry Fugu".)