Saturday, May 26, 2007

On the horns of a dilemma

You all remember this, right? It's the cochineal saddened silk that I was going to ply with something and knit a lace shawl. The problem is what do I ply it with?
I had thought maybe this merino. But never having plied a solid with a variegated, and never having knit lace, I thought that I would ask for your valued opinion. I'm not really all that keen on the candy stripe look of plying a dark singles with a light one. I tried that with the silver and some black.
I have more merino to dye. I like these colours, but would it be better to dye more like this and then blend it on a drum carder? Or dye something in the lighter range of these colours that will blend more with the colour of the silk. Or some other colour altogether and save the silk for something else.
The pattern that I am using is Kiri which calls for 400+ yards of sports weight yarn. I can manage that.

When you knit lace, what do you like? Variegated? Candy stripes? Solid? Other?Does anyone have any pictures of lace knit with hand spun that they can point me to?


Valerie said...

One of the problems of plying silk with wool is that you will have a differential shrinkage rate between the two fibers. That can seriously change the character of your yarn. So the answer once again is sample, sample, sample.

Variegated yarn and lace: If the lace pattern has an "image" embedded in the design, the variegated yarn will detract from that image. However, if the lace is just a continuously repeated overall pattern, the variegated yarn can be quite nice.

As far as lace knit with swallowtail is knitted with handspun merino at:

Dave Daniels said...

Ditto to what Valerie said: swatch and sample.
For color, where the silk is a silver grey, something in a similar value in a blue or green or rose would be a nice complement to it. But I think it won't look so candy-caned if the yarn has multi colors, like the roving you're using in that photo.
I've got some silk caps I was thinking of dyeing the same colors and some merino, so they match, and then ply them together. But, as Valerie pointed out, shrinkage issues. It's a risk I'm going to take.

WhiteFeather said...

I'd ply it with more silver/grey. Lace itself is a complex and visually interesting structure and adding colour and/or variegation is only going to create noise. That's my humble opinion. I'd avoid any candy-striping. Sometimes less is more, no?
I don't think you'll have much of a shrinkage problem with your yarn if you stretch it after it's washed (and just soak it a while in cold water vs. warm), unless you throw your finished lace into the washing machine. But, yeah, you might want to experiment first with a little sample.
I love that silver-grey. Go with it!!

a simple yarn said...

Disclaimer: I am not a lace knitter (knitting one piece ...and not even being done with that one...does not a lace knitter make!)

But when I see lace done in a more singular colour, it gives the lace pattern a chance to stand out, rather than being muted under a layer of colouring. Yes, I'm sure there are exceptions to that though, but weighing in with just another opinion.

Laritza said...

I do not like variegated for lace. It muds up the pattern and you end up with poor color and pattern definition.
Here is a post I wrote a few months back on spinning for lace.

Hope it helps.

Maia said...

That silk is so simple and beautiful. If you ply it with something exuberant like the variegated purple roving, I worry that the silk will be lost. I would use the silk alone on a project that will show its beauty and spin something else for the scarf.

Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

I have knit two projects with varigated yarn. They are singles, so the color flows and the patterns are not complicated designs. I think they work.