Bracken-Fest

That’s the theme of my knitting right now. You can actually sing about it if you want—the tune for “O, Tannenbaum” works well.

I’m working on two projects just now (actively working; there are plenty more project bags hanging about). The first of these is a Ten-Stitch Twist Blanket in Noro Transitions; the second is an original (large) square shawl in Kauni. No matter which I have in hand, I’m spending an inordinate amount of time picking bits of bracken out of my yarn. I am not quite to the point of saving it, so I can weight it at the end of the skein and see how much of my yarn money was actually used to purchase twigs—but I may get there.

The Transitions is interesting to work with. It’s a wool/silk/cashmere/angora/mohair/camel/alpaca blend, but instead of being evenly mixed, the yarn changes composition periodically. It seems to have wool throughout, but one moment I’m working with wool/silk and getting a nubby texture, the next I’m on to wool/angora and suddenly everything is wrapped in a halo. I’m using that pink/green/black Noro colorway, and the colors aren’t quite a loud as they usually are. I don’t know if this is a result of how the fibers take the dye or if the yarn’s just spent too much time in direct sun.

The Ten-Stitch Twist pattern is great for Transitions (or for any Noro yarn). You begin with a circle knitted in wedges, then knit in circles around that center, picking up one stitch every row or two, and knitting outward in a spiral, so that you make a sort of snail-shell shape with the striping running in brief, perpendicular rows, rather than the large rings you’d get with circular knitting. This pattern is a free Ravelry download, though the designer, Frankie Brown, asks for a small donation to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. It’s a fun, simple knit—great if you need some meeting knitting—and definitely worth a donation.

The original square shawl is past the halfway point (I think) and up to 472 stitches per round, so progress goes slowly, but thus far the design is proving true to my sketches and quite pleasing. I like the Kauni for this project (bracken be damned!) because the knitting involves some changes of direction, and the slow color changes in the Kauni show these off without distracting from the stitch patterns.

Let me leave you with this question: what’s the biggest something you’ve ever pulled out of a skein of yarn? Acorn? Pine cone? I haven’t actually had anything over 1″ yet on either of these projects, so I suppose I really shouldn’t complain too much.

April 30 2011 04:12 pm | Uncategorized

One Response to “Bracken-Fest”

  1. Chris on 01 May 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    I’ve had 1 inch lengths of ‘matter’ in my Kauni. But the iten I most often pick out of my knitting is the cat hair!!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply