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!).


  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

    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!


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

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