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So here it is, completed. On the recipient, who was pleased with its feel and fit, and therefore, so am I. Am still sick, but I had to log on and put all the specs down before I forget:
Pattern: My own, adapted from Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. I used the one for set-in sleeves and adapted it to a vest pattern.
Yarn: Filatura Lanarota 100% cashmere, 140 m. per 50 g skein.
Gauge: 5.5 stitches to the inch on size 5 needles. I used my old Susan Bates grey metal circulars. These are the best, really, my favourites over all bamboo, wood and Addi whatsits.
Yarn Review: I’ve said it already, this yarn is less than perfect. It is soft, no doubt, and also cheap, and if you’re really looking for cashmere and get it at a bargain, go ahead. But it is very, I mean very, loosely plied and splits like nothing else I’ve seen. Also, it has very poor stitch definition and you can barely count stitches or rows, even in stockinette. It doesn’t shed as much (a tad more after washing, but not that much, really). The skeins were oddly made up into very small circles; it was a pain to wind them into balls, and although I didn’t really tug hard, it doesn’t seem that strong to me. But all said and done, it’s very soft and looks warm and inviting. I also have four skeins left and have to figure out how to use them up!
Haven’t done much else since this was finished… except for a few
rows of the faux Russian stole. More on that next week, hopefully.
So it’s almost done. All I need to do is seam the sides. I’m not terribly happy with the finishing, but there’s nothing I can do about that right now. I did the neckband last night while watching Vanaprastham, a Malayalam film by Shaji Karun, starring Mohanlal and Suhasini. The film was interesting, very well made and acted, with some interesting insights into the Kathakali form, but the subtitles were a little weird and left me with a lot of questions.
There seemed to be a lot of stark contrasts, especially with the freedom of choices available to various female characters. If anyone reading this sees the film, do watch out for the conversation Suhasini and Mohanlal have in "mudra" (hand gestures) near the stairs. That was inspired. Also, why they roped in Zakir Hussain to do a "Sounds of the Mystic East" kind of soundtrack with the santoor and whatnot for this film based in the south, with Kathakali as one of its languages, I have no idea. It was most annoying.
In other news, if only I didn’t feel like something the cat dragged in. My throat feels like sandpaper, my mouth like sawdust and the rest of me just, basically, like crap. So why am I here actually typing this complaint? Because I am trying to write the final pages, but they look and feel even worse than I do. If I see "the central aim of this work has been to" one more time, I will weep. So this is a diversion. Unfortunately, not for too long. Must return to "this book has argued that…"
Will post a picture of the vest on the intended recipient, and give full project specs a little later. But, anticipating my argument in the next post (sheesh!), this yarn sucks.
Next to alliterations in annoying titles, surely, are puns. But please bear with me. Imagine this is what my Cashmere Vest project is saying to you.
Because, it has indeed reached the point where I will cast off for the neck on the front, with the back already done and if I can actually get my head and neck out of the oceans of work they are currently buried under, I might even finish this project next week. About two hours of concentrated knitting, then finishing.
I have a serious manuscript deadline in about four weeks. Right now I should be thinking only of footnotes and the first and last ten pages of the book that a few people will hopefully read, incidentally the only bits not yet done. But all I can think of is getting back to my Faux Russian Stole and a couple of other serious lace projects. All the words I’ve painstakingly composed over the last few years are swimming in front of my eyes and I am strongly fighting that tired, blah feel. I must revise, revise I must…
Another thing that’s left me quite exhausted is the Knitting Olympics which thousands of knitters have apparently joined., to finish challenging projects in two weeks flat. I find it amazing that some people have been knitting the Frost & Flowers Lace shawl, others have already finished two lace shawls… makes me tired just visiting their blogs and seeing how much they’ve knit in a day. I don’t care either for speed knitting or for the Olympics so I’m out of this race, but it’s still pretty amazing to see the projects progress in leaps and bounds.
I’ve been really busy with work, with hardly any time to put up more pictures, or knit and take more pictures! I have several deadlines in the coming weeks and they are really keeping me busy. But I thought I’d just put up a small update of things in progress.
First off, the Balaclava Cap finally has its edging, and it has been successfully taken on trial runs on the West side and along the Hudson, especially when walking back home late at night from the Path station. It is *incredibly* warm and totally keeps out the wind. And we’ve had some really windy days here. I look like a slightly dressy bank robber – and feel like King Arthur’s knight from time to time – but I really don’t care, because it’s an incredibly warm and comfortable garment. And I despise the winter enough to look weird to feel warm.
Next up, the cashmere vest is coming along nicely. I have done about 2/3 of the back, and it should be done sometime this week. This is perfect commute knitting. I have the TV versions of a lot of P.D. James’ mystery novels in my Netflix queue, but hardly any time to watch them. If I did, this stockinette vest would get done a lot faster. Oh well, I’m travelling to California in a few weeks for a conference, so maybe then. The yarn, Filatura Lanarota 100% cashmere, is soft, but splits more than any other I’ve worked with and the stitch definition isn’t great. So it’s going to be a plain stockinette vest, but I think it will look good when done.
What else? Here’s what I would like to finish next: It’s a pair of gloves I started making last year, but abandoned for some reason. One is done, and I only need to finish two fingers and a thumb on the second. They’re Brooks Farm Mohair-Wool blend and they’re wonderfully soft and good to work with.
I finally sat down and charted an entire motif of some thirty stitches and ninety-odd rows for the rangoli pattern I wanted to use on the cabled vest. I highly recommend the Stitch & Motif Maker, but boy, my eyes hurt. I also swatched for the vest, but the first swatch has been a disappointment. I bought some Filatura Lanarota 100% cashmere from Smiley’s Yarns because it was unbelievably cheap, and it also turned out to be really really soft when I swatched it in plain stockinette. So far so good.
Unfortunately, in the dark grey colour that P. chose, you can hardly see the cabled ring that’s been knitted Also, the yarn is so loosely plied that it splits practically every second stitch. Digging into stitches for cabling was very difficult. And it’s already quite fuzzy (it bloomed a bit after washing, but not overly so) which is making me worry about its durability. It was cheap, but still. So alas, no cabled vest with this cashmere.
But I have enough for a plain full-sleeved turtleneck, which is what P. opted for instead, so I’ll do it all in stockinette. Which will bore me to tears, but at least the yarn will behave, and it will be really soft.
Instead, I’m going to turn to the Knitpicks yarns I bought last week for some cabled hats, I think.