Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hanging Garden


The Hanging Garden stole is finished! And a strange finishing it was, too.

The yarn is 100% cashmere from Colourmart, and is oiled. I hadn't used it before, and hadn't taken in the full implications of the washing instructions, having been too impatient to join in the KAL for this project; so when I went into their site after casting off yesterday and found 'hot water and detergent, hair conditioner, dry in the tumble dryer' it was slightly worrying. But hey, it's only 10 months' worth of lace, after all... Here it is "before" in the 'pile of old washing' stage... and the detail is after washing but before drying.
It came out beautifully - the yarn bloomed in the water to start with, but the spinning and tumble drying really brought out the softness (I only gave it 5 minutes in the tumble dryer, but that was enough to dry it completely). It finished up completely flat, as if I'd blocked it. It also shrank - a LOT. It probably lost a fifth of its length and at least that in width (instead of the stipulated 80" by 22", this one is 64" by 15"), but the stitches tightened up beautifully, and the pattern acquired a sort of 3-D quality. Normally my knitting is very loose, so having these little tiny lacy stitches is a novelty...

And it's now wonderfully soft and luxurious, and exactly the right size for its intended use. I always have this illusion that one day I'll do 'elegant casual' - it's a complete delusion, of course, but it doesn't stop me trying...

So - the details. Pattern Hanging Garden from Sivia Harding - as ever beautifully charted (and with written directions for those who prefer...); size 6 Toho raku beads from Beads Direct, heavy laceweight cashmere from Colourmart (col. D495), 3.25mm needles. Started in the garden of the Blue during last year's June or July KTog there. Finished weight: 110g.

Next time, I think I'd wash the cashmere beforehand - I didn't get a nice sensual experience knitting it, and it would have been wonderful to knit with something as soft as this yarn has turned out!

7 comments:

Melanie said...

I love your Hanging Garden - it's beautifully done and it looks so soft and lush.

Mary-Lou said...

it's lovely!

Penny said...

That does look lovely, its a gorgeous colour.

Daisy said...

Oh wow, that looks FANTASTIC!

Wibbo said...

Well done for getting it finished - it looks lovely!

HPNY Knits said...

its gorgeous! I bet its delicious to wear. great work.

Knitman said...

Just gorgeous. I wash and tumble cashmere always. It really is much better afterwards!