Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You help me, I'll help you

Citizens of Knitbloglandia, I need your help!

Remember that beautiful Handmaiden Lace Silk I broke my KFYS 2007 to buy? Remember the glory of that stunning new yarn and the promise of a breathtaking Forest Path Stole? The anticipation of a long planned project in the *perfect* yarn?

In reality....perfect? Not so much......

I've knit thru the border plus two tiers of the entrelac and I'm not sure how I feel about the results which is why I need the help of the collective consciousness that is Knitbloglandia! Tell me what you think.....


Under an Ott Light, completely unretouched


Unaltered, in daylight

as always, click to embiggen for a closer look

I didn't choose a "pretty" black background to highlight the lace nor did I block out the lace to it's best advantage for these pics because I wanted an ordinary representation. Also because the yarn is pure silk, even finished it will not block as dramatically as wool does.

So my friends, tell me what you think and please feel free to be brutally honest!


For the part where I return the help favor, I've found two great products I simply must share!

It's finally back to sock knitting here at Chez FKD after knitting TWO pair of the orange cabled wristers in the yummy Cashsoft DK. Here's my current sock in progress....


This is the new Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace and I think it's a WINNER!! It's a super soft bamboo/cotton/elastic blend that is very bouncy and pleasant to knit with. It's composed of four strands plied together so it can be a bit splitty but not enough to make for a bad knitting experience. I'm using the colorway Fern, the color is anything but subtle but I love *assertive* footwear :)

I want to see just how far the yarn will take me so I'm knitting toe up socks (plus I get to use the Turkish cast on, woot!)

I'm using the Elfine Socks pattern designed by Anna Bell which is think suits the colorway perfectly.

I'm doing Magic Loop on a 40 inch US#1 (2.25mm) which brings me to my next great find!! Magic Loop, while not being my favorite method for sock knitting, does have it's selling points (Turkish cast-on!) especially when executed with a smooth needle with a flawless join like an Addi Turbo. Unfortunately, Addi doesn't manufacture a *true* size #1 needle, their "1" is 2.5mm, not 2.25mm and the resultant fabric is just too loose for my taste. Enter the Hiya Hiya Needle! Pointy tip, smooth nickel finish, slick joins that don't snag yarn, 40 inch length, VERY flexible cables, about half the price of Addi's and a true size US#1. This sock knitter is a happy camper and now you can be too :)

The P-Man thinks all this helping is exhausting but he wants to know.....

If you'll be his Valentine? Happy Valentine's Day!!!

34 comments:

Wen said...

I can't see any photos, so I can't say (repost them?). But I do love the elfines pattern. I knit them in red Koigu, and am now waiting for some Scout's Swag to knit a pair for myself.

Also, I knit a lace scarf out of the seasilk and it does take an aggressive blocking very, very well.

Laritza said...

Honestly, I love the color way with the little green bits in it but! The lace is never going to show as it should. One reason is the color the other the yarn texture. It will be too drappy and it is going to end up gathering up too much: accordion like. What I would do: knit a less complex lace pattern with the yarn still lace but a stitch pattern that does not change as much and knit the Entrelac stole in a solid color.

Wen said...

Yay! Photos!

Ok. I like the colors a lot more than I thought I would, however I think I understand the "ehhhh" factor. The shawl is complicated and going in a lot of different directions. The green bits don't seem to be playing nice with the other colors.

The point is, will you continue to want to knit this if you don't love it? Maybe it needs a more muted colorway... Seasilk comes in the "subtle series" and there is the "melon" colorway that might work better...

Tell P-Man that I want to give him belly scritches, even if it means cheating on my boyfriend and a full blown allergy attack. He's that cute.

Monika said...

I don't think the Handmaiden lace yarn in this busy colorway is the right choice for this particular project.
The socks look fantastic though! ;o)

dsrtwillow@yahoo.com said...

It breaks my heart to say it, but the yarn is just too busy for that pattern. Beautiful yarn, just gorgeous, but not for that lace.

Melanie said...

Oh Debbie,
I got to agree with everyone else.
The yarn is SO lovely..and I know it costs a pretty penny. It deserves to be in a pattern that is going to show off it's fabulousness.
I just don't think the entrelac is it. It's just such a busy pattern already, and with the handpainted everything gets muddled.
With all the work this project entails, I think you should go for a yarn that is solid or semi-solid to get the best result.
I HATE saying that! =(

Kris said...

I like the colors. I wouldn't even mind a busy color scheme with the fps pattern. I'm not lovin' the way it stripes on the triangles. It's just hittin' me wrong. If it werent' for that definite striping just in that one portion (a portion that occurs a lot on fps) then I think I'd be okay with it.

The striped triangles remind me of sock stripes. Maybe it is that it reminds me of sock patterning or it is that my brain can't accept stripes and lace. Whatever the reason, the stripes are competing with the lace.

How's that for "clear as mud"?

Emma said...

You know you're asking us because you aren't happy with it ! I don't think this yarn works with this pattern. A nice plain cashmere maybe ?...

Wendy said...

I see your dilemma. I think the lace would be better in a monochrome color and you'll be much, much happier with it.

Lucy says she'll be the P-man's Valentine!

Vicki said...

Debi, it looks like mine. I don't like mine so I am afraid I don't like yours. The yarn is beautiful but just not for this project. a solid colour I feel for this stole. I have given up on my stole because of the colour. The sock looks great.

La Cabeza Grande said...

Seeing these photos gives me a different perspective. The obvious shift in colors compete with the pattern itself. I agree with the other comments in that a muted nearly solid or solid would show the FPS to its best advantage. Put the beautiful Handmaiden to rest for now. The right pattern will come along.

Re: Elfin socks, I just ordered some green sock yarn in a similar colorway. Yours look terrific!

Oh, and thanks so much for the HiyaHiya tip! I hopped right over to the Knitting Zone to pick up sizes I don't have (1.5, 2.5).

Much love to you and the P-Man on this Valentine's Day!

Carole Knits said...

I'll tell ya plain, the yarn is too busy for the pattern. Sorry. Mason will be Pumpkin's valentine, though,if that's any consolation.

chris said...

I think I have to agree with everyone else on this - it's a beautiful yarn and a beautiful pattern but they're not right for each other. But thank you for sharing those two products with us!! Love product recommendations and now I need to go check them out. The socks are wonderful!

Diane said...

Casting my vote for frogging and using a plain pattern to show off that yarn. The current pattern really needs a plain wool that will block out perfectly to show off the lace.

P-Man, you are one adorable Valentine.

Beth said...

Plain wool Deb, in a pretty color. It's going to be such a show piece when it's done, you may as well knit it in a yarn where you can see the pattern.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and to P-Man!

jody said...

you've gotten a lot of comments already, and i have to agree too. the greens and pinks are making it too busy to read the lace. it's a beautiful yarn, but i think it would be better with a simpler stitch pattern.

Maureen said...

I am agreeing with everyone else... Maybe a nice solid yarn to show off the beautiful pattern. That yarn is very pretty and will make a gorgeous shawl in another pattern.

Dorothy said...

Well, I'm not sure you need my 2 cents because it seems pretty much unanimous. I do have to agree with everyone. If it was straight forward lace and not zigging and zagging, it might work. From the photos, I see that darker stripe just jumping out and distracting. But man, what a lot of work to have to frog!

Alison said...

The color is absolutely gorgeous and I think it will be a beautiful shawl, not necessarily the FPS, but if you're not 100% happy with it, then it really doesn't matter what the rest of us think. Unfortunately, some yarns just don't work with some patterns. (It might make a gorgeous Landscape Shawl though!)

Siercia said...

I hate to say it, but I have to agree with everyone else. THe bovious color changes are fighting with the lace pattern too much.

And I think that what a few other commenters have said is right - you're asking because you know, in your heart, that you don't like it.

KnitNana said...

I think I'll have to fight The Meezer to be the P-Man's Valentine!
Ok. I'll be brutally honest. I don't like that yarn in that pattern. I really can't see the lace - all I see is the variegation, and if silk doesn't block as well as wool, that's going to be a problem...

Is that what you were looking for?
Are we still friends? *wink*
(((hugs)))

Angie said...

I loved it on the skein, but in this pattern, I am left a little...well flat and that isn't easy for a fluffy like me. Thanks for the tip on the Hiya needles, I lurv my knitpicks options, but they don't come in the smaller sizes, as soon as I encounter that Panda stuff in the "wild" where I can feel it up, it will be mine.

Happy Valentines Day,

Marguerite said...

I took a few minutes to look over the shawl and even enlarged the picture - which is a big deal on dialup.

Only after that did I notice everyone else has already told you the true facts, which you already knew before you asked.

You will be much happier with a solid or almost solid color and this yarn will be much happier being something else.

Love the socks, though. And thanks for the tip on the needles.

Norma said...

Yep, it sounds like it's almost, if not truly, unanimous: That yarn does not want to be that lace. But it will be something else nice -- you know it!

AmyP said...

It's unfortunate, but I think the yarn dominates and overwhelms the lace. In a solid or near-solid colour, it would be fine.
Lovely socks though.

Rebekah said...

Well Ihate to say it but I agree. I think multi-colored yarn drowns lace. I think multi-colored yarn wants to be something simple so it shows off the pretty colors, like a triangluar shawl with basic yarn overs as lace.

Love those socks though!

Maia said...

I agree that the yarn and pattern aren't the right match. :-(

I love the socks! I have been thinking about trying that yarn for socks. I would love a report on how they feel and wear (once they are done of course!).

P-man is awfully cute.

Carol said...

If you're not loving this now, figure what it is you're not loving and why. I'm no help really, but I'd love to be the P-Man's Valentine;) Happy Valentine's Day Debi and P-Man!

Agnes said...

Oh ... that's painful! But I think the crowd have spoken their minds ... as well as the truth. Do you have solid lace in your stash? Sarah's Yarns has good price on coned Zephyr ... which is one of my favourites. The silk is still gorgeous nonetheless ... just waiting for the suitable matching pattern.

VickeryKnits said...

It's sad that everyone agrees but I have to say it too--the yarn is beautiful and has such a great sheen to it, but it's not working with that lace pattern. I'd try someting else.
Also, love the socks!

La said...

Beautiful as that yarn is, and it's the yarn that I'm dangling over my head as a carrot as an incentive not to break my KFYS, it overpowers the lace, which I can't see at all.

sniff, and I thought I was always P-man's valentine. well, at least Sassy was...

Jan said...

I have to agree, the too-rapid striping overpowers the lace. Something almost solid would work, as well as something that slooowly migrates from color to color. Pink Lemon Twist had a lace yarn along those lines recently.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and P-Man!

Wanda said...

I'm sorry that you had to rip. I just love the color and seeing it knit up just increases that, but it's not the right pattern for the yarn. Hopefully you'll find more lace yarn that will look beautiful with the FPS pattern.

Denise/Ct said...

Beautiful yarn. Love the color way, but not for that lace pattern. Sorry, I think a frogging you should go, but don't listen to me, I'm still playing with samples swatches for my own FPS.
Love that sock pattern with that color way and yarn. Too cute!