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Tuesday, January 3, 2006

and so it begins…

Of all things knitting, last year had to be the Year of the KAL. They were everywhere – I jumped in feet first on Alison’s February Fix-a-Thon and the Martha KAL over at Jessica’s Rose-Kim Knits

Why KAL? I would say it all boils down to one word: ENERGY.

Being in a group of like-minded people, attempting a challenge to a finish is just the Ultimate Needle Team Sport. It motivates; it inspires; and it can bail your frilly fanny out (ahem, the LaceForAllSeasons that I lurked on to make my first shawl, hi Wendy, happy belated birthday!) when you get stuck. And, yes, I’ll admit it. I get stuck quite often. And people were always there to give me their individual/collective wisdom to grease my sticky needles along. Thank You! oooxxx

There is not one project that I’ve made that I didn’t benefit from the Feedback of others.

Ahhh… The Butterfly KAL: I spied this beautiful camisole fashioned by the lovely Eilene early on but just didn’t have the time to join in…

Little skeins of something called Kidsilk Haze snuck into my Stash whenever I wasn’t looking until finally, this posting by the Skinny Rabbit herself tipped the scales. She was wearing it the way I could envision myself wearing it – over another (long-sleeved) top.

I had to do it.

But I couldn’t. Just didn’t have the time – even though I’m determined to make more lace…

But I could make this, a little ChicKami, using the KSH. It wouldn’t have the lacy drama of the Butterfly, but it would have the *L@@K* – a sheer vest, a simple frosting effect.

I fired up the machine and made some swatches.

skhcami1.jpg

This, IMHO, is the most important part of the process ever. It is the Blue Print, the definition of the building blocks you use to fashion that *wall* that sheet of fiber that becomes your fabric. It probably comes as no surprise that I have a dressmaking background – and I usually approach knitting as a way to make fabric. Here you see the personality of the gauge (20/28) working with the strand itself – sheer but by nature of the mohair, dense enough to carry it off.. (The white borders are the waste yarn you use to start a piece when you machine knit.)

AH and what fabric a piece of knitting is.

It is alive. Not only is it shaped in progress, it has an inherent organic flexible quality that woven fabric never achieves, a quality that mimics the body shape it is worn on allowing us, if we pay it its proper homage will repay us in spades.

skhcami2.jpg

Up she goes on the dress form to see if it can really seal the deal. This is knit using Rowan Kidsilk Haze in the Spray version – color #572 Pebbles. The pooling is intriguingly different on the front and back pieces. I cannot describe how delicious this piece feels – but it is both substantial and gossamer…

 
 
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