Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Silky Wool

So I'm having mixed feelings about the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. It works up into a beautiful tweedy fabric that seems to have pretty good drape and is much softer than you'd expect it to be from just touching the hanks. But it's a royal PAIN to work with!

Let me see if I can explain: the heathered appearance of the yarn comes from the little flicks of what I assume to be white silk that is attached to the wool base. It's sort of spun in, but it's certainly not even. So when you're knitting with it, there's lots of extra "catch". I'm not a tight knitter, so when I first started working with it, the fabric looked like I had knit it on needles 2 sizes too large. I realized that the nubs were catching on the loops so that normal tension would not take out the extra yarn automatically when inserting my needle into the next stitch. I have to actually PULL the extra yarn out being careful not to pull too much so that it's overly tight. Now the fabric behaves more like it should. This is even more of a problem around decreases, or at least mine anyway, as it looks like the decreased stitches are creating gaping holes! I'm hoping that blocking will even out the stitches a bit.

As a side note, I discovered this 11 rounds into Hopeful and initially looked at it and decided that the difference wasn't really that noticeable. The gauge did change from 20 sts x 24 rows to 20 sts x 28 rows per 4x4" square. I had to recalculate my waist shaping, but I didn't want to rip out entirely. Does anyone else think this looks weird enough to rip out?

Anyway, I'm certainly going to continue on with Hopeful in Silky Wool, but I'll just have to pay closer attention to my tension, especially around shaping areas. I couldn't find much information about this yarn out there, and I actually purchased it sight unseen since it sounded like such a great idea and it was a good value. Did anyone else have a similar experience with this yarn?

EDIT: I couldn't get blogger to upload images last night (I hate blogger!) so I continued on. I finished my first ball of silky wool, and my oh my is the yardage good. I'm 1.5 rounds shy of my last waist increase. I know it's not an exciting picture, but here is progress with one ball of yarn.