Friday, March 02, 2007

Infidelity (shhh)

Yarn came in the mail, and now I'm cheating on all my other projects. Shhh...don't tell them.

I'm not cheating with this yarn, even though it is very fun. This is Mirage by Alessandra. 100% wool that is very soft, but not merino soft. Not complaining. I have enough for a sweater, maybe something out of Twinkle.

I considered sending it back to elann, but I can't do it. It's too much fun. I like the bunny rabbit on the labels. I think I'm going to save this one for next year though. The weather might be moving on around here for such a bulky one.

Now this is the source of my infidelity right here. Araucania Atacama that went on sale at on Monday and that arrived yesterday. It is 100% alpaca in a worsted/aran weight. It is alpaca-luscious and a wee bit hairy and I love these colours. Earth and sky, colour 500 in varying shades of sky and light blue, chestnut brown, and leafy greens.

Doug took one look at this stuff and said, "You could make some nice manly socks out of that." That's quite a statement coming from him.

I've cast on for a simple, light pullover to wear as a layer over t-shirts. I'm knitting with 5mm needles to get a slightly airier fabric than I would get on the 4.5 called for. Gauge is about 18/19 st to 4." I am knitting with two alternate balls every two rows to break up the variances in shading in Araucania yarns in general. I highly recommend that for garments. And I also recommend that you choose two fairly different skeins to match up each time (there tends to be a visible difference, so this is easy to do).

For example, the two balls I'm working here: one is darker in the blues and browns (with more brown); the other is lighter with a bit less brown. That gives me an even colour distribution, and will not show lines later on when I have to change balls.

I work two rows with one ball, and then two with the other, carrying the unused ball up the side. I keep them from getting tangled by having the working yarn on my right and the unused ball on my left, and cross them over when I switch (to pick up the slack). Continental knitters might need to reverse this.

It has been a soul-wearying week, following the death of our Peppo, and especially following the bizarre conversation with my dad and the follow up research and counselling I have done (as will be apparent below). The effect of knitting alpaca in these soft earthy tones of browns and gentle blues and greens on my rich Lantern Moon needles is soul-satisfying and soothing in just the right way. Exactly what is needed right now.

On a more personal note:

If you grew up in an inconsistent, painful, crazy-making family, and if you are a person who has needed mondo-dollars in therapy to cope with the fall-out of that. Or even if you have wondered. You might have had parents with narcissistic personality disorder.

I have found the following links to be very helpful:


Joan said...

Thanks for that swatch bc I couldn't guess how that yarn would knit up. It's like camoflage. I see you still haven't given in to a ball winder yet. ;-)

Love your colorway on the bulky, roving yarn. I am pretty uninspired when to comes to bulky weight yarn but love the idea of those quick knits. Enjoy!

CatBookMom said...

Thanks for the demo of the 2-skein switching technique. I'm thinking that is going to be a favorite sweater for you.

Thanks also for the links. I may check them out. My family's dysfunctions were in some of the same areas, some different. And yeah, $$$$ in therapy.

PS - my verification word is 'mudimo', which I'm thinking applies both to Vancouver and to Toronto - see the Yarn Harlot's photos of slush today! (Muddy Mo')

Marta said...

Good "cheating" - that yarn is truly beautiful, and you know how to show it off!


Madge said...

Mmm, the Atacama looks like a lovely serene knitting experience. Perfect salve for the soul!

And my lips are sealed....

Lisa W. said...

your cheatin heart....but oh my is that lovely...i don't do blues much...but that is just gorgeous. thanks for the tips about the ball switchin (hmmm...doesn't that wordplay just make you think...hahaha) entire family of origin is how they revised the DSM III to the DSM IV (ok not really...but they could've!) Hope this weekend is restful and energizing for you!
my word verification was cmtoqdr...

jayne said...

You guys all crack me up!

Muddy Mo

Come talk doctor

I love wordplay. We were all out at dinner tonight, and Doug was explaining to the kids what an Archimedean screw was (he had shaped his straw into a crank shaft). I was thinking to myself that I bet Mrs. Archimedes had a different definition for that one.

Lisa, I'm pretty sure that everyone in my original family occupies a spot in DSM IV, ha ha, at least I can laugh. Thanks for getting your family to revise the document so we could all fit in there. :)

tracy on bowen island said...

I was just going to order some of that atacama, I looooove alpaca!
How many balls did you buy for your top? I wanted to order the ella rae book, but I was not quick enough, it sold out, sniff...What pattern are you using for the top? The needles look yummy too, but I hate straight needles, I would have to hand them on the wall for decoration. Then my family would really know I have lost my mind!

jayne said...

Hi Tracy,

You can get Lantern Moons in circular too. They cost, but they're a nice luxury. I got mine for my birthday last time.

I bought ten balls of the Atacama, but I think I'll be using about seven for the t-shirt. I wanted something like the little long-sleeved tee in the Ella Rae book, but I didn't buy the book.

I found a tee pattern in a Creative Knitting magazine (Jan/07) and I'm making some changes to it to get something similar.

I'm aiming for 34/36 size, and nearly done the back with two balls of Atacama. So then it would be two for the front/neck and probably three or so for the sleeves. It won't be more than eight.

It's very nice yarn to knit. Soft and light and pretty. Not a heavy worsted, quite light, but a great fabric on 5mm. You'd get a snugger fabric on 4.5 and even snugger (closer to DK) on 4mm, but I think it will bloom a bit, and I wanted light/airy fabric.