Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Lovelies

There has been a real explosion of interest in lace knitting in recent years — admittedly nothing on the scale of the "sock supernova" (ka-BOOM!!), but dramatic all the same — and it has inspired spinners and dyers to come up with all sorts of delicious new fine-gauge yarns. It's a shopper's paradise out there, and a frugal spouse's worst nightmare.

I try to avoid indiscriminate purchases, but I do love to browse my favorite on-line yarn stores, & some beauties are simply *irresistible*, like these two new acquisitions. Both are hand-painted merino wool in lace-weight, and deliciously soft.

The first is another treasure from the YarnMarket Impressionist Collection, the same place where I found the Spring Bouquet for my entrelac turtleneck (completed earlier this summer and blogged quite extensively). This latest one is Zazu from Twisted Sisters, in a colorway called "Paris Rain," as inspired by the 1877 painting "Paris Street; Rainy Day" by Gustave Caillebotte. Note the image of the painting on the label to the right, and of course you can click on either photo for a closer look.

I specifically chose this yarn to blend with the colors from the plaid lining of my warmest winter coat: green & blue on a tan background. The shades in the yarn change fairly dramatically depending on the lighting. Sometimes the beige and tan seem to dominate, sometimes the green and teal blue. I am going to make the Ostrich Plumes Stole by KnitSpot designer Anne Hanson, and I have chosen some lovely round beads and elongated megatamas from EarthFaire to embellish it at least at the two ends if not throughout. A beaded ostritch in the Paris Rain, perhaps? Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

I've never knitted with beads before, but they fascinate me. I've now ordered a variety of shapes & sizes, and you're going to see a lot more beaded lace from me in coming months.

The second yarn literally took my breath away when I saw a photo on the web, and believe me, it's even more stunning in person...

It's called Whisper from Aurora in the "Roses" colorway. They create the different shades using a single dye, simply by varying the degree of color saturation. Every skein is unique, and the specific dye will not be repeated. That's why I knew the minute I saw it that I had to act fast. I requested this particular skein of the three that Earthfaire had in stock (all three are now gone), and since I happened to be first in line, I was able to take my pick. I reminds me of an English tea rose in full bloom, glowing in the morning sunshine.

It's going to be an adventure just winding this sumptuous hank (1250 meters!!), but then I think I've found the perfect pattern. It's called "Jenn's Rose Trellis Stole" by Tina Kroshl and is available for free to members of the "Yarnfeather’s KAL" Yahoo Group). The design features a central panel that is mostly plain knitting with a lovely rose-trellis frame. I should have plenty of yarn, even with the addition of a dainty lace edging, and I think the pattern will be just right to showcase the shifting colors rather than competing with them. >> Yum. <<

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