sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Stranded knitting and Lana Cash

Going from smallest to biggest today!

Lana Cash from (bottom & middle) and Rowan Felted Tweed

Some of you may have seen or even bought some Lana Cash from Elann last week-- I bought several single balls for colorwork, hoping they'd make nice mittens. This pic shows the Lana Cash on the bottom (unwashed) and in the middle (after a quick warm water bath with some dish liquid) ... compared to Rowan Felted Tweed straight off the ball. I know some were looking at the Lana Cash as a sub for Felted Tweed for Eunny's Tangled Yoke Cardi so maybe this'll help some on the fence. (Pay less attention to the slub in the middle of the washed Lana Cash, the gauge is closer to the yarn on the sides of it.)

The Lana Cash washed up is slightly thinner than the Felted Tweed unwashed (does FT bloom when washed? that'd be a consideration too). I did a quick swatch mainly to see if the Lana Cash would bloom...


Washed up, on US 1.5 (2.5mm) I had a gauge of 6.5 sts/inch in stst and 8.5 sts/inch in stranded knitting, and on US 2.5 (3.0mm) I had 6 sts/inch in stst and 7.5sts/inch in stranded knitting. Please keep in mind the swatch was only over 2" and I forgot to measure the gauge pre-washing, so ymmv.

All said, the Lana Cash washed and bloomed SO nicely-- it feels like it is straight off of a cone, not oily but just compact, and washed up was really nice and soft! It sold out fast in most colors, but there are a few left (and if anyone received any and didn't like it/wants to swap or destash for any colors other than ginger tweed, lmk! I keep wanting to order some in Black Oak-- and how about Pakucho for holiday washcloths?) I like using the Lana Cash for my current mittens...

Norwegian Stars in Natural from Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves
Lana cash, various colors
Started: 19 October 2007
US 0 (2.0mm), 24" circulars -- 2, Addi

I went and knit these on US 0's (2.0mm) giving me a more compacted column gauge, so I'll be doing 3 stars on the back of the hand instead of the 2 shown (placed the waste yarn for the mitten a little high, some of the stranded work will rest on my wristjoint). Hopefully that'll work :)

The colors used were chocolate (brown cuff), golden flax (majority of star), charcoal (dark grey), (?) medium grey, sienna (orangey brown), and (?) pale green. They're a quick knit, but I'm slowed a bit knitting these on a too small needle. I think US 1 would be better for stranded knitting, maybe even to US 2 with the lovely bloom.

I did finish some other stranded projects...

We Call them Pirates Hat
Started & finished: 17 October 2007
Knit Picks Swish Superwash in black and coast grey
US 6 (4.0mm), Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable 32" (magic loop)

I omitted one panel, increased the rate of decreases at the crown, and upped the gauge/yarn to fit my baby's big toddler head :) I also didn't start with a provisional caston, not really needing a double-thick or lined hat (the swish?!, so I broke out Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia and started with a Kihnu Troi cast on (p 42-43)...


...all for naught, the edge curls :) The cast on is SUPER loose and way pretty, but a loss here since the looseness of it + stockinette = curled edge. I wouldn't recommend it for the pattern unless you did some corrugated ribbing to try and hold it in place-- but I'm glad to know how even though it took me almost as long to execute as to knit the hat :)

I also finally finished the Noni Prism bag. And it is HUGE.

Noni Bags, Prism pattern (Fall 2006 collection)
Patons Classic Merino wool in Petal Pink & Black held double
US 13 (9mm) 29" circular, Susan Bates
Started: December 17, 2006
Finished: October 22, 2007

Were those trumpets of joy I heard?

This... this was a journey :) I like the result, I'll probably like the bag, but there is no way I will be knitting fair isle on such a large scale for a VERY long time. The pattern is so large that I have to set it down and step away from it to see if it looks right (and even then, it's only in pictures that I can really see the patterning). The pattern also isn't the typical repeat you'd find in a fair isle pattern (like a numbered repeat), so it's near on impossible to get any good speed going since you're tied to reading the chart. Same as with the gauge though it may just be me, but the larger the gauge of yarn the slower I inevitably knit and this... this is a good example of that :)

Even with all of that (and they're not complaints, just observations), there are a few neat things about the pattern. The bottom of the bag is knit back and forth (so you're purling in stranded knitting-- if I were to knit this again, I'd consider a solid bottom bag instead), and you pick up all around to knit the sides of the bag circularly. The way Noni has you picking up leaves this really nice band around the bottom...

IMG_6865 way to know what it'll look like felted up, but it was a nice touch.

So were the purled turns and the pattern on the side panels...

IMG_6868 well as the tips on felting and finishing included with the pattern.

Admittedly I am a bit afraid of both, more of the finishing than the felting. The bag needs to be lined and stabilized and I've never done any sewing (nor do I have or really need a sewing machine), so it's something I'll need to do by hand and, I'm afraid :) I also should head on over to Article Pract and find some handles for this bad boy... I'm thinking a simple black plastic will be fine. Maybe metal feet, too?

Does the pattern calls for a zipper?! Oy.

Anyways! MISS YOU if you missed that.

(my free shipping sale ends tomorrow at 12:01 am, in case you were looking to pick up stitch markers or roving! :))


Kirsten said...

Thanks for the review of the Lana Cash. It looks like a pretty nice product. I have been tempted, but there are so many projects I need to finish first.

The mitten is beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished pair.

HPNY Knits said...

great info. thanks. all your knitting is so even. the bag is huge. wow.that is enormous knitting.

Stacey said...

cute mittens - very rustic looking with the tweediness! can't wait to see the bag felted!

lexa said...

Love the new hat for the little one. I've eyed that pattern once or twice. The new mittens are looking great. I want to try some more stranded stuff this winter. (After Christmas knitting, most likely.) Can't wait to see Noni felted!

Zonda said...

Nice mittens!! Cute hat, and yahoo for finishing the bag!! I think solid black handles will be perfect! Once you finish felting it, measure it. Then go to your local craft store and get one of the cheap fabric totes in the color you want as close to the size that you want. Often times all you have to do is cut off the top, fold under and hand stitch, the bag part is already done. Email me if you have any ?? :)

April said...

OK, Little Miss Stranded Knitting, are you joining my Tam Time Knit-A-Long on the Stranded group on Ravelry? I hope SO.

Acornbud said...

I very much admire all your stranded projects.

WandaWoman said...

Umm, first of all, thanks so much for enabling me. As you mentioned the Lana Cash yarn, I immediately clicked on the link and bought some of the yarn left in the black oak colorway. Not really sure why I felt like I needed it, but really wool/cashmere, for that price, incredible!

The new mitten is looking great and the bag is unbelievable.

xtina said...

Hey Aija - let me know if there aren't any handles at A.P. that you're into (I know, I should know if there are black plastic ones, I think no but am not positive). Anyway, I've got a MILLION handles of all shapes, sizes and materials at home that I'd be happy to give to a deserving home - I mean - bag. Just shoot me an email....

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