Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Things one can do on a 5-day weekend

Term is about to start, so I decided to take some time off before the influx of students rendered my life insane. I've discovered that I am able to do the following on a 5-day weekend:
  • scrub, organize and tidy my kitchen
  • wash 4 loads of laundry
  • go to the cinema
  • watch an entire season of the West Wing (among other things)
  • knit 90% of a lace shawl

I was off Thursday-Monday. On Wednesday night, after eating dinner, I settled in with Spouse, a DVD and a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock. This was one of the skeins I acquired about a month ago with friends. I had originally intended to make socks, until I looked at the yarn more closely. It's a single-ply, so not hugely sturdy or abrasion-proof. It's not evenly spun, so in some places it's a heavy worsted and in others it's thinner than some of my laceweight. This would mean that the socks would not knit up consistently. And finally, it's really, really rough. Apparently it softens when you wash it, but the skin on my feet is very sensitive.

I concluded, therefore, that perhaps a shawl would be more appropriate for this rather lovely but scratchy yarn. A shawl is open and lacy, and so the thick-and-thin nature of the yarn wouldn't be so noticeable. It's customarily worn over other clothing, so the scratchy isn't an issue. And I just so happened to have a pattern for a lovely triangle shawl by the same designer who did the Swallowtail Shawl. The original calls for 500yds of fingering-weight yarn. The Noro was only 437yds, but according to Ravelry (yay Ravelry!), a decent-sized shawl can be produced with one skein of Noro Sock. The pattern is a single chart for the body, repeated as many times as one desires, followed by a 14-row edging chart. The pattern calls for 8 repeats of the chart; I've done 10 and am expecting to use just about the whole skein. I've got 6 rows and the bind-off left to knit, then I'm done.

I'm still trying to decide whether Noro yarns are worth the bother. They have fabulous colours and are all self-striping with long colour repeats. However, they are on the pricey side, often have breaks in the skein that throw the striping sequence off, and are FULL of vegetable matter. Picking bits out of my yarn is not fun. But this shawl is marvellous shades of green, and I don't even LIKE green! A company that makes yarn so pretty I go for colours I don't even normally like is definitely onto something...

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