Thursday, October 25, 2007

Conjugally Involved

Tilli Tomas "Rock Star" is not a speed-date, it’s a yarn that is worthy of courting and matrimony. A fine worsted-weight silk yarn with glass beads, it is nothing less than luxurious. Once you say “I do” there’s no going back. Are you ready for a commitment?


Silk has a deep luster with a “sly” quality that requires an experienced hand and some sober planning. It’s as easy to drop a stitch as it is to lose your drummer in a bar. It's actually easier to replace a drummer. Working with multiple colors of silk can be as difficult as being a roadie on the Guns N' Roses reunion tour. Rock Star is run with a second string of glass beads that give the garment a soft but substantial drape. It's a work-once yarn that knits up easily but the beads make undoing your work difficult. I swatched on #6 and #7 SPNs but when I pulled the yarn out for correction beads exploded all over the place like Courtney Love busting out of rehab. I found that repeatedly ripping and redoing my swatches made the yarn lose it's luster, just like the bionic re-engineering of Bat Out of Hell III.

As with Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins, a breech in the middle of your project may have bitter consequences. It’s best to ball this yarn by hand instead of running through a winder. I made swatches and tried a few knit patterns that mimic crochet. Working loosely lends to the crocheted appearance. To prevent tangling my work, I put the ball of yarn in a plastic net from my two-dollar Mutsu/Cripsin Apple. Was that tangy Asian crunch really worth my 2 bucks? Food is not love.

This pattern above worked best on #8 SPNs (36 sts. wide).

Knotted Openwork
R1; (WS) Purl to end
R2: K2, *yo, k3 then Pass first loop of 3 over the 2 loops; repeat*, k1
R3: Purl to end
R4: K1, *k3 then Pass first loop of 3 over the 2 loops, yo; repeat*, K2

Repeat all four rows like The Shins' lastest CD. Return bank call about over-draft. Wonder about Identity fraud "Who would want to be me?", look for old Amex to make sure it’s destroyed. Return to knitting.

The cuff of this wedding shrug is taken from a modified antimacassar with a leaf motif. I found it in a thrift shop in Jim Thorpe, PA. An antimacassar once protected the backs and arms of chairs from Macassar Oil, a popular brand of hairdressing. This day and age might call for an anti-SelfTanner, which prevents upholstered furniture from staining orange; or possibly an anti-Rogaine, which prevents spontaneous hair growth on yoga mats. Anyhow, combined with the knotted openwork, I thought it looked quite charming and hauntingly anachronistic — like Stevie Nicks circa Lindsey Buckingham. You can see the sleeve pictured above, my friend Maxcine lent me a hand with this photo. The selvage on the upper arm is finished with a crochet crab stitch and the cuff is finished with a simplified Irish crochet. As with most rock stars, this shrug needs a little sober reinforcement.

No comments: