Susan recently talked about Japanese knitting patterns and pattern books. She and I both purchased several of them recently and, being easily distracted, I started playing around with some swatches. I won’t bore you with all of the various swatches I knit and all of the yarns I tested. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to knit one of the patterns I was seeing or whether I wanted to design something using some of the unique stitches I was seeing. I finally decided to try a fairly simple but elegant design. My scanner isn’t working and although I know I’ve seen a photograph of this design somewhere, I can’t remember where it was. (I will definitely post it when I find it.) I’ve made some modifications to the design, but not too many.
I have in my stash some beautiful white laceweight silk. Lots of it. Several thousand yards. I felt guilty dipping into it, but on the other hand I’ve been hoarding it for so long that it’s ridiculous. Even after I finish the sweater, I’ll have plenty for a shawl.
I decided to mix it with some Kidsilk Haze in the color Pearl both to get the gauge I wanted and to make a soft fabric with a little bit of a halo. I’m very pleased with the results, although I will be upfront: I know that the knitted fabric doesn’t look great in this photo. Because I am twisting stitches on most rows, the stitches look irregular — like teeth that need braces. I did wet block my swatches, however, and when I did so the stitches really straightened out and looked great. So I am fairly comfortable that the finished project will look better than it does right now. (*crosses fingers and toes*) I do love how the Pearl color softens the white silk; in person, the resulting color does look like a pearl. It has a soft, luminescent sheen. After being wet blocked, my swatches were unbelievably soft. I can’t wait to wear it.
Here is the current state of the back:
I don’t know what the Japanese name for the pattern is, so I am calling it Japanese Ironwork here.
Never fear — I’m still working on my Cross Lanes and my Pearl Buck.
P.S. I want to thank my sister for blogging in my absence. I was visiting my daughter (and my little assistant!).