26 April 2008

Printed Silk Indecision

Those of you who have spoken to me with any regularity over the course of the past two weeks probably know about how I want to knit the Printed Silk Cardigan from the spring issue of IK. You have also probably heard me mention with almost certainty that I'm going to buy a certain yarn for it. Whatever yarn I happen to mention probably changes every time you see me.

Pattern specs:
Printed Silk Cardigan
Fiesta Yarns La Luz (100% silk; 201m/57g)
42" bust - 9 skeins (=1809m)
Needles: US 5 (body and sleeves) and US 3 (bands)

The candidates in chronological order of consideration!

1. Frog Tree Pima Cotton/Silk
85% Pima Cotton 15% Silk
$6/skein (online)
would need: 12 or 13 skeins
would cost: $72-78
recommended needle size: US 5
pros: -it's a very environmentally friendly company
-silk is exciting
cons: -would need to order online (takes time)
-not a huge color selection
-the color might look different in person

2. Knit Picks Shine Sport
60% Pima Cotton 40% Modal
$2.49/skein (online)
would need: 17 or 18 skeins
would cost: $43-45
recommended needle size: US 3-5
pros: -cheaper than any other option
-machine washable
-wider color selection (esp. compared to FT)
-most popular yarn for this pattern on Ravelry (8 projects)
cons: -those other knitters haven't been able to get gauge, and the size I
want to make fits me perfectly, so don't want to mess around with
adjusting sizes
-I am concerned that at a larger gauge, the cardigan would be too heavy
-if I change the gauge, I'm not sure exactly how many skeins I need
-would need to order online (takes time)
-the color might look different in person

3. Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy
40% Hemp 40% Cotton 20% Modal
$6/skein (@ Smith's)
would need: 12 or 13 skeins
would cost: $72-78
recommended needle size: US 4
pros: -could start immediately/support LYS
-a very good fit in terms of yarn weight
-good lightweight summery yarn
cons: -not sure if Smith's has enough of the colors I'm most interested in

4. Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
65% Wool 35% Silk
$7/skein (@ Smith's)
would need: 10 or 11 skeins
would cost: $70-77
recommended needle size: US 6
pros: -silk is exciting
-wool is supposedly cool in summer
-good fit in terms of yarn weight
-could start immediately/support LYS
-good value in terms of yardage
cons: -expensive

A further thought: both Elsebeth Lavold yarns have a slightly different color quality. They're not variegated by any means, but they're not necessarily perfect solids. They have a little bit more texture. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it looks a little tweedy, maybe? It's not a bad thing, it might just tweak the overall look of the garment.

But really, this is a huge decision. This is essentially the cardigan I'm planning to wear multiple times a week in St. Petersburg.

Right now, I'm really leaning toward the Silky Wool. Smith's has a bunch of this really nice orangey color. It would be great. It'd cost a lot. But I'm owed money from a couple of sources. If I can talk to SFC and get them to reimburse me for that money that ECO owes me from the 2006 Angel Tree thing, I think I'll go for it...

As always, your opinion is welcome.

Well, maybe it isn't always welcome. But I am welcoming it now, so take advantage of that while you can!

14 April 2008

What Am I Doing With My Time

I had no choice but to spend a good deal of my morning and a bunch of the afternoon on this. It seemed so imperative that I make this. No lie, I'm kind of proud of it.

It both does and doesn't emulate Prince:

+ there is layering of the artist's voice over itself

- the fidelity of the recording equipment...

Here it is.

Life is good.

The pressure of weekday-based pastry posts has been lifted; the Fafblog is back.

12 April 2008

Quidditch and Koigu

The last week has been lovely. The weather in Ohio has finally started to warm up, and not only is baseball in full swing (both MLB and Oberlin intramural), so is Quidditch!

I've been thinking for about a year about starting up a Quidditch team at Oberlin. Fortunately, some folks (not me) actually got around to it. We had our first scrimmage last Tuesday, and was had 10 people and it was a beautiful day. Today, it was pretty muddy (it's on the verge of raining and did yesterday), and we had 10. A couple of folks went dumpster diving earlier this week and found some wooden sticks and dowels, which we used to get the six goals off the ground. So far, only one person really has a good broom. (The broom I have from my costume is really nice; I don't think I want to bang it around too much.) We might find them in the future, but as of right now, we're mostly just running around. We have been trying to use as many one handed catches and passes as possible.

Both Tuesday and today, I played Keeper. I've kind of come to really like playing that position. I think I might tire out more if I had a position with more running (something I've never been good at), and I do enjoy not being a legal bludger target. Tuesday, keeping was difficult, since the goals were lying on the grass. The chaser with the quaffle could see the goal really well, presumably, but I just knew it was somewhere behind me. I feel much more comfortable with the goals on posts now. I made some nice saves. I even got hit in the face with a quaffle! (I'm okay.) I felt pretty good about it.

What's better, I think this activity will provide a good incentive for me to get my work for my seminar done early. I've got a feeling I'll be able to play Quidditch, eat a proper dinner and get to class, rather than skipping dinner in the interest of reading.

In other exciting news, I have Koigu!

Yesterday at knitting circle, Nancy mentioned her visit to a yarn store in Vermilion that's closing, the Love to Knit Yarn Shop. As it turns out, I've driven past it before, on the way to Sunset Shores for the ECO retreat(s). I think lately it's been too stressful for the woman who owns it, so she's closing the store. Everything is 30% off. Cory and I expressed interest in going, and Nancy said she'd give us a ride. So, today I got some lunch from the co-op (which was delicious!), walked to Smith's (the yarn store in Oberlin), where we met up, and I ate my lunch on the way.

I was looking for yarn to make the Laminaria shawl from the spring issue of Knitty, and yarn for the Printed Silk Cardigan from the spring issue of Interweave Knits. Yesterday I finished some hand-knit socks and one of my Mosey legwarmers (also spring Knitty '08). Both of those use 100% wool, as do both of the projects I was thinking of starting next. It's spring; I want to work with something else.

Well, it turns out, the yarn I bought in Vermilion was 100% wool, too, but it is gorgeous. I got a 1375 yd skein of laceweight in a deep red, which I'm going to use for Laminaria, and two 50g skeins of blue Koigu, which I'll use to make some socks down the road.

I also bought some more stitch markers (the little blue and red plastic ones), because those will always get lost and broken, so who can't use more? I thought about buying a sweater's worth of some nice deep blue heathered Galway, which would have been gorgeous, but I thought about Russia, and thought about how I don't have a pattern, and decided not to buy it. I bought sock yarn without a pattern in mind; it's probably better that I don't get into the habit of that with sweaters.

One of these days, I'm going to go back to Smith's and look for some yarn for the Printed Silk Cardi. My mother mentioned to me that I might want to think about buying some new clothes when I'm home, since people are probably a little dressier than I usually am in Russia. I think Printed Silk would be a wonderful little кофта to wear around St. Petersburg. Also, I've never used nice yarn that isn't mostly wool. Getting a nice bamboo or cotton blend under my belt would be a good thing. I'm not deluding myself, though; I can't afford to make in 100% silk.