I’ve come into a bunch of vintage crochet books recently, and looking through them has made me really interested in working with crochet thread. I’ve done quite a bit of crochet with fingering weight yarn and loved it (finer crochet is easier IMHO) so today (while I was avoiding the Derby… I live way too near downtown) I went to the craft store and bought some thread and the tiniest hook you’ve ever seen.
I’m going to make the pattern pictured above first, and if I like it I’ll think about tackling some of the vintage terminology. I’m really interested in some of the lovely table runners from the 40s as well. I like the idea of making items that my grandmother made. In fact, I think that’s one of the things which attracted me to knitting in the first place!
Last night I started another round of mad swatching. Here are my swatches and reviews of a few yarns (and yes, I make my swatches 4″ wide but not quite that tall… I always get tired.)
Sonata knits up really nicely. It’s a cabled yarn, so it’s impossible to split, and it feels nice in the hands. I knit rather loosely with cottons, so while this is on the recommended size 6 needles, I’m getting 5st/in instead of 5.5. This is a mercerized cotton, so it’s not a soft yarn, but it wasn’t straining my hands at all. Perhaps the secret is to not try and get your stitches as firm as you might with wool? I had a few people ask me about this yarn, and my recommendation is to go for it. The color selection is fabulous, and you really can’t beat the price!
Knits up at 4.5 st/in on size 8 needles for me. Recommended gauge is 5 st on 7s, but I can’t see how that would work. This is a thick feeling yarn, and I would not want to knit it on smaller needles. The fabric made from this yarn is really pretty – I love the shiny bits from the nylon thread wrapped around the yarn. The nylon thread is really easy to snag, so that’s something to watch for. It’s not my favorite cotton yarn ever, but I think the effect of the nylon makes the difficulty worth it. I’m going to use it as a sub for the Skacel Evita called for in the A-line tank (Knit simple, summer 07)
Classic Elite Classic Silk
I have been desperate to make “Daylight” from the Rowan Kasbah Collection. Unfortunately, it’s knit in Summer Tweed, which I’ve recently decided I cannot deal with. I started thinking of subs and thought of Classic Silk. I made my Ms. Marigold from this yarn, and it has a similar silk/cotton nubby effect. It has also worn really well, becoming softer with every wash. The gauge is a bit different, but I thought I could compensate by knitting a larger size. Imagine my surprise when I swatched and found that I was able to get correct gauge using size 6 needles! So I will be making this very soon, and hopefully it will be cute! So anyone looking for a substitute for Summer tweed, this is one to consider. I think in plain stockinette it might require some math, but in this pattern it measures the same!
Today was a good day to visit thrift and craft stores on the far end of the city. We were invited to a Derby party, but as a native (and an inhabitant of a fairly touristy area) I prefer to hide. Besides, we had friends over for dinner last night, and I don’t like to socialize two nights in a row (I’m a quiet person, so it takes a lot of energy for me, and I like time to recharge.) I bought a few nice tops at a thrift, and got the crochet things above, but my favorite thing was actually an ebay purchase that arrived this afternoon.
Oh yeah. You know you’re jealous of my Star Trek cookbook! Some sample recipes:
Plomeek Soup a la Neelix
James Doohan’s “Scotty’s Lemon Chicken” (Scotty is my favorite Trek character… I was so sad when James Doohan passed away)
McCoy’s Mint Julep
El Bouche: Klingon Throat Stew
There’s also a section on food props, and one on the drinks from Quark’s bar. So fun! Combining two of my favorite things at once! Now if it only had a chapter like “Deanna Troi’s needlepoint tips” I would be in heaven.
And yes, I’m a dork.