8/28/10

On Nupps and Yarn Color

Nupps are tricky. No, not in knitting  - once you've done 5-6 of them, they are fine. By the way if you are looking for a good NUPP tutorial look here.
Nupps are turned out to be tricky if you change a yarn color on them. :)
Ok, the story:
From the moment I bought a "Knitted Lace of Estonia" by Nancy Bush I fell in love with her Maikell Shawl. Here it is as knitted by me from KnitPicks Bare yarn  in lace weight.

The combination of Nupps and twisted stitches create a very fine balance between weightlessness and a substance in that lace pattern. Here is a close up

So, I've done couple of white ones and was looking for some change, when I came across this yarn (again  - from KnitPicks. For full disclosure - I am not getting paid from KnitPicks, I just really like their yarns and customer service!!!).
This particular yarn is called SHADOW TONAL LACE YARN in Queen Anne color scheme:
I immediately thought of the Mikell Shawl made out of this. WOW... I imagine that because of the color changes every nupp will be different color and it will add to the appeal of the shawl.
And here it is. The Mikell Shawl in Queen Anne color: absolutely stunning!
 
 But the nupps did not do what I thought they will. They are there, you see them, but they did not really enhanced the look of the lace the way I  thought they will. Close up:


Oh well, I guess I will need to knit more nupps to figure them out completely :) 
And the shawl is still gorgeous!

Happy Knitting everyone!



8/20/10

Hooray! The first StellaLuna from my reader!

I am in absolute ecstatic mood for the last couple days: the pictures of the first StellaLuna knitted by one of my readers were posted! With the permission of the owner here it is. Thank you, Olga!

This shawl was knitted in Doneck, Ukraine. Look it up - it is right on the border between Russia and Ukraine.
 There are also a few more StellaLunas started on Ravelry:
This one is being made in Bismarck, North Dakota


and this one is in Perth, Western Australia, Australia. 

WOW!  I am completely, absolutely, totally  in love with the globalization of our knowledge base!
Think back only 10 years. How long  would it have taken for my pattern (created in May of 2010 in NH, USA) make it all way to Perth, Australia? Don't know. Years?
Now it take seconds. 
Isn't Internet wonderful thing?

I would like to say thank you to all the knitters out there who was so brave to take up a pattern by unknown designer (aka  - me). 
THANK YOU!
And if you are out there, knitting StellaLuna:  I would love to hear from you. 
Please, show us your version and tell us where are you from, so we can track StellaLuna across the globe!

PS: I am currently working on a new design. It does not have a name yet, but here is a sneak peak:


Happy Knitting!

8/7/10

Do I really have to use the yarn that pattern calls for?

One of the readers commented in "Diagonal Lace Baktus" post that it's good to have a pattern for an affordable yarn.
You know,  if fact, MANY-MANY-MANY pattern that are written for a pricier yarn can be adopted for a cheaper one. In many cases, the price of yarn or even  a fiber content will not be a defining factor in how the final product looks like.
Here is an example for you:
I have designed this "FUN TWIRLS HAT" for KnitPicks' Interdependent designer program. The hat is knitted in cotton yarn (well 75% cotton/25% acrylic)

Now,  the "trial hat" was knitted in 100% acrylic yarn bought in local JoAnn's store. Here it is, presented by the same model:

Do you really see that difference in fiber content? Nah...  the yarn you choose depends on your preferences.
I personally can not stand even a little itch in my sweaters.  Neither does anyone in my family. On the other hand cotton yarns feel a little too heavy to me.

I am most comfortable in nice comfy acrylic ones. So I adopt the patterns.

How to adopt the pattern for a different yarn?
1. First and foremost: look for the same yardage. It should be about the same yards/oz (or meters/g).
Some manufactures give you a little  help: they give a yarn a number to signify the weight of yarn, which is essentially yards/oz.


Some manufactures don't do that  - so your best bet is that yards/oz value.
Just a reminder to use a little math: 100 yards/3 oz is the same as 200 yards /6 oz .

2. Look for similar texture: if the original pattern calls for a smooth yarn - use somewhat smooth yarn. Obvious? Well, I recall the case when a person tried to knit this stole (found here) from black boucle yarn. Not only it was a frustrating knitting time, the result was far from desired: the lace pattern was lost in texture of the yarn.

Hope that was helpful. 
Happy knitting everyone!

P.S. Well, this blog is about knitted lace. So here is your warning: it is a little trickier to do yarn substitutions in lace patterns that require pin-blocking. I think I will write a separate blog post about that.