Simplicity and Complexity

I am calling my newest handspun yarn “Water Never Formed,” because its light, beachy blues and greens remind me of Wallace Stevens’ “The Idea of Order at Key West.” The fiber is a merino/silk blend from A Verb for Keeping Warm, in the “Azure” colorway, which I got discounted from them a few months ago. This is 2 oz of it spun into 200 yards of fingering-weight yarn, and I’ve got another 2 oz that I’m going to try to spin to match. It was a little bit of a pain in the butt to spin, frankly — the Twist Yarns of Intrigue merino/silk that I spun up recently was much easier to handle. The Verb fiber really stuck to itself and was difficult to draft. I’m not sure what would cause this, but I suppose it might be the indigo dye or something about the fiber preparation. As a result, the yarn is significantly less even than some of my more recent creations. I had thought about knitting it into some kind of complicated lace, since there is not a lot of variation in the color, but the variation in the texture made me decide against that. Instead, I am knitting it into a dirt-simple Montego Bay Scarf, from the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Knits:

This seems like a great pattern for handspun, since it’s forgiving of variation in texture and thickness, and it makes color-pooling look pretty good. I’m excited about having such a summery, beachy scarf!

I’ve also undertaken a significantly more complex project: Anne Hanson’s “Leaving” cardigan, from the Twist Collective’s Winter 2010 issue.

This is a sleeve, which I’m doing first to check my gauge. I got burned by my swatches last time, so I’m just knitting with the specified needles (after checking to make sure my gauge was at least ballpark) and am going to block this sleeve when I’m done and treat it as a very large swatch. Hopefully it will work, but if it doesn’t, it won’t be too heartbreaking to unravel a sleeve. Truth be told, my gauge is a little tight, but the yarn is superwash so I’m betting it will grow with a wet blocking.

The yarn, by the way, is insanely gorgeous. It’s Madelinetosh Pashmina, in the “Composition Book Grey” colorway. My last sweater was knit in Madelinetosh Vintage and I continue to love it to pieces, so I think it’s safe to say I am a convert. These people can do no wrong. I was expecting this colorway to be more, you know, grey — but when it arrived I was immediately smitten even though it hadn’t been quite what I was looking for. You don’t exactly have to twist my arm to get me to knit with a dusty purple, plus this way I guess I have an excuse to knit another cardigan soon, since I continue to need a light-grey one. Wish me luck!

3 thoughts on “Simplicity and Complexity

  1. Pingback: What I Did On My Summer Vacation «

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