Suri Alpaca Lace Shawl
I knitted this over most of my first year in graduate school. That would have been 2002-03. It's knitted from just more than one skein of Cherry Tree Hill's Suri Elegance. A skein cost me about 50 bucks! So, it was the purchase of the year to buy two. The color is Middle Earth, and I was careful to match the dye lots. But as I've bitched about already, dye lots with CTH mean nothing. I knitted through the first skein, and joined the second. I was shocked at the difference in colors. If I can get these pictures to upload, you can clearly see in one of them how different the colors are. I decided to finish out the pattern repeat and bind off. It's fine, the scarf was a zillion feet long at that point any way. I really liked working with this yarn, and I do love the colors. I thought that soft alpaca would make a wonderful soft lace, but it's pretty itchy. I guess there's something about spinning any fiber into such a thin yarn. Worn over a dark jacket, it's stunning. I've blocked, and re-blocked it several times, and it's held up really well. I still have most of another skein of this yarn waiting to be knitted. I was thinking about making that shetland shell pattern I really like. That pattern seems to show off hand painted yarns really nicely. This project really formed my love for big nasty long-term lace projects. I knit so much lace that I've really cut down on knitting time. I don't use stitch markers any more; I don't count stitches in the pattern. I've finally learned to "read" the lace as I go. When I began this project, I couldn't do that. I had a dozen or so stitch markers in the work, and I wove a contrasting yarn through the loops at the end of every repeat so I could keep track. If all else failed, I figured I could just un-do the work back to the thread, and I would know what row that was. With the very first lace project I ever did, I had to pull it apart so much that I really had no idea most of the time what row I was working. I was still doing my yarn over's wrong, and they didn't make much of a hole, so there was really no way I was going to be able to read the knitting. Some how I finished that little silk shawl. If I knew then what I know now... I don't know how I ended up living in southern California. My love for lace has convinced me that I should have been born in Oslo or some place where the sun does not frequent, and I could just sit inside 10 months a year and knit lace!