theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 27, 2008

From Sally — The Joy of Silks

Filed under: Japanese Ironwork — surly @ 5:23 pm

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!).

17 Comments »

  1. Wow! I’m drooling! That is going to be so elegant. I’m going to have to try the kidsilk haze mixed with something else one of these days.

    Comment by Maria — February 27, 2008 @ 6:01 pm

  2. If you enjoy Japanese patterns, you should check out Ishi at Ravelry.
    (Ishi-knit at Flickr, I believe.)
    She’s absolutely amazing! Her work is gorgeous and prolific. Communication
    in English is tricky… :)

    Also,a new kal began– Knitting Elegance? Knitted Elegance? Well worth a
    visit.

    Which books have you aquired?

    Comment by Deb — February 27, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

  3. You never cease to amaze! (Rowan ought to be giving you a cut for promoting the use of KSH.) I am anxious to have a look at those Japanese books someday.

    Comment by Marsha — February 27, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

  4. The resulting fabric is amazing, incredible, breathtaking. You and Susan truly are inspiring!

    Comment by Dianna — February 27, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  5. Lovely color and sheen. The stitch pattern is stunning, its going to be beautiful.

    Comment by Rudee — February 27, 2008 @ 8:03 pm

  6. That looks fabulous – can’t wait to see more!

    Comment by Amy — February 27, 2008 @ 8:14 pm

  7. That is quite beautiful. Maybe someday I might be able to do something like that, ha.Adding the kidsilk haze is pure genius.

    Comment by kay — February 27, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  8. That looks fabulous. Restrained elegance. Somehow I’m picturing something very dressy and classy.

    Comment by LaurieM — February 27, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  9. I never thought of double stranding two finer-gauge yarns before to get a homogenous result…after seeing your two examples of Kidsilk Haze plus a secondary, I’m smitten!

    Comment by Laura — February 27, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

  10. If it’s even better in person, it must be unbelievable — can’t wait to see what it becomes.

    Comment by Pam — February 28, 2008 @ 1:00 am

  11. Sally- That’s pretty, and it looks like a fine gauge.

    I do that too, I hang onto stuff. Much better to knit it.

    Comment by Lorraine — February 28, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  12. Beautiful! I can’t wait to see how this sweater progresses. Please knit fast! :)

    Comment by Nancy — February 28, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  13. “…I know that the knitted fabric doesn’t look great in this photo” – What??? I looks fabulous to me!

    Comment by Karen B. — February 28, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  14. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooh. :drool:

    Comment by Romi — February 28, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

  15. That is one of the most lovely things I have seen, the texture, the pattern. I have a stash of KSH from a lace shawl phase which never really got off the ground in terms of knitting (I have no idea why i thought it would as I am not a shawl kind of person) and now I know just what I am going to do with it!

    Comment by Sharon — February 29, 2008 @ 3:56 am

  16. what a nice combo!

    Comment by karen — March 2, 2008 @ 1:53 am

  17. Beautiful! You have so much creativity with your yarn selections. What cast on did you use? It looks unusual in the picture?.
    Just Beautiful!

    Tyna

    Comment by tyna — March 2, 2008 @ 11:05 am

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