Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Silk Cami

Once upon a time, I hit a rather epic LYS sale. It was one of those once in a lifetime situations where they were going out of business in a hurry and selling everything in the store for $1 a skein. Epic yarn sales are rather dangerous events and I remember very little of the actual sale. I do remember cutting out of work early for 2 days in a row and slogging home with 3 giant shopping bags each time. Looking back, I actually did this rather smartly- I bought a lot of basics in neutral colors and enough of each color for, eh, several sweaters. So far from this stash, I've made 5 adult sweaters, 6 baby sweaters and hats and several adult sized hats and fingerless gloves for gifts. Definitely high on the entertainment value.

One thing that has plagued me is some Debbie Bliss Pure Silk Yarn. It's a gorgeous single ply worsted weight silk yarn with a nice sheen and beautiful hand. I bought 4 skeins of plain white and a few other skeins in purple and green.

For the life of me, I can not make this yarn work for me.

Attempt #1. The Frenchy Cami. (ravelry link)This was an Interweave Pattern. I was going to Puerto Rico for a couple weeks on holiday and needed something mindless to knit on the beach and on the plane. Apparently, the tropical sun got to me and my knitterly denial was at the highest possible level, because only once I was ready to attach the straps did I realize that I had actually made this for Jabba the Hut. It's a gauge disaster at its best. The gauge swatch I made did not predict this outcome. Liar swatch.

I bravely frogged this once I got home, spraying sand all over the house in the process.

Attempt #2. The Silk Camisole. (ravelry link)

White yarn does not stay white for long in my life- I get bored with it. I had dyed a bunch of white alpaca yarn (from the same sale!) in Madder Root. Once I was done with the alpaca, the dye bath was not exhausted so I threw in this silk yarn to soak it up. It's now a pretty peachy rose color. It's like new! I felt that I could face it again.


I picked a new, but similar pattern got gauge and cast on. As I was finishing up the lower body of the cami, I ended up with an end of yarn in my hand. Where did the rest of my silk yarn go? This can't be right. I looked all over the house for it. Then it hit me: I am out of yarn. I went back and compared the two patterns. The gauge on the Silk Cami is 24 st per 4 inches. The gauge on the Frenchie cami was was 20 st per 4 inches. Those extra stitches and tight gauge had made me run out of yarn despite the fact that it would have fit me. YARGH!

etsy 501

I had more silk yarn, but nothing that wouldn't make it look like I had run out of yarn- unflattering stripes in odd places and random blocks of color aren't going to work with me. It's really hard to replicate a dye bath using natural dyes, and I didn't want to even try. Madder root will yield different results depending on the climate, age of the plant, drought, how long the dried roots are sitting around before you use them and the water you use to prepare the dye bath.

So I frogged. Again.

And cast on. Again.

Attempt #3. The Silk and Pearls Cami. (ravelry link)

I really want a silk camisole! Either I'm too stubborn/stupid to give up this idea or I'm going to get it right one of these times. At 16 st per 4 inches, this is making a much more open fabric then the previous two tries, but I won't run out of yarn anytime soon. The pattern is and sexy and if I could be bothered to throw my hair in curlers and put on makeup and get freakishly thin arms that stick out at a weird angle, I might resemble the model.

etsy 503

Suggestions for another use for this yarn are welcome just in case.

1 comment:

  1. You might want to look into Flow, by Norah Gaughan, if it's the right gauge. Easy, wearable, and with silk it would be nice and drapey.