In my continuing love affair with the work of AnnaMarie (and Wes, and the corgi girls) at Corgi Hill Farm, I’ve been trying to bring this lovely skein of yarn to heel. Merino/angora/silk, in the colourway Gin Fizz (it’s a crowd favourite), spun into a laceweight gradient 2-ply.
I called it Caipirinha
At first, I wanted to make the wonky, wacky, wilful Windward, by Heidi Kirrmaier (I love her work). I cast it on, though, and the yarn didn’t have enough body to stand up to the pattern and was too light a weight anyway. So I ripped it out (bear in mind it’s 20% angora, will you?)
Then I found out about a site called Stitch Maps, whose premise is that lace patterns in particular are represented in such a way as to more accurately evoke the finished lace pattern than a gridded chart does. Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I was so excited, and spent many a happy hour plotting, swatching, fiddling, till I came up with what I was envisaging for my beautiful yarn – a deeply ruffled scarf with the dark blue-grey-green at the centre, frothing outwards in a fizz of fuzzy foamy angora to finish with the creamy leafy sprout green at the edges. Can’t you just see it?
Interminable boring lace
So I rewound my ball of yarn so I could start from the dark end, and I was happily toodling away at this confection, a little bit at a time (ruffles make the looooooongest rows, doncha know), when one day I logged on to this (paid!) site and found that it had eaten? lost? maliciously thrown out? judgementally excised? my pattern. I’d started paper notes, but by this stage they were incomprehensible and so in despair I gave up on Plan B and ripped the project out again. At least it was the other end this time.
Plan C revealed itself as a very simple pattern that came as close to my vision as I could find in a (written down, hard copy, real, published) pattern. I chose the Opera Fichu, from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. I’d always wanted a bed-jacket and I felt that this would be a stunning one, luxurious and twee and utterly over-the-top. The centre went nice and fast, but then I got very bogged down in the outer lace, which is a deathly-boring two-row pattern executed twenty times, or basically until you can’t take any more. Or, as in my case, you run out of yarn. Always the danger with handspun, sadly. At least it meant I was excused from finishing with a 1200+-stitch picot bind-off, right?
The fichu is meant to be gathered at one side of the centre panel onto a knitted strip which becomes the fastening. But of course I had no yarn left, so I figured I’d get some OTT velvet ribbon or something, and proceeded to block the living daylights out of the piece. It came out so long, there was no way it was going to be any good gathered onto a ribbon – it would look too weird.
Thusly, Plan D came about. I have a new scarf, and I don’t mind telling you, I’m rather in love with it.