Thursday, April 20, 2006

Merino/Silk Orenburg-like swatch

Orenburg shawls are traditionally knitted with fine gossamer yarn, handspun with the down from the Orenburg goats and plyed with a fine silk thread. This yarn was spun with a merino and silk blend and would be considered much too thick. Needle sizes range from 1.5mm (000 to 2.0mm (0) and my swatch was done with 2.75mm needles.

I started at the lower left border, cast on 7 stitches loosely, knit a simple border pattern. Originally, I had planned on doing 4 sets of teeth but was not sure if I would have enough to get a decent size swatch. I did 3 repeats of the border, turned the corner, knit back, did the other corner and worked up. The centre pattern is a simple fish eye pattern. It's worked on both sides.

One thing I learned is that you need to keep careful count of your rows if you're going to doing several patterns. I need to rework the charts so that the number of rows line up with each other better.

Traditionlly, the yarn is spun cleaned but greasy to make it easier to spin fine. The yarn is not washed until after the shawl is knitted up. This will help to see the stitch definition and make the pattern easier to follow.

Hmm....looks like I got a yarnover in the wrong spot in the border. Not much to look at - knitted lace is so ugly until it's properly blocked. I think I'll re-knit this with a different needle size.

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