Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lace, or Loofah?

Whilst in Iceland, I did a fair amount of yarn shopping. I've been anxious to start working with it.  I showed you the Plötulopi a few posts back - that's the unspun, very delicate yarn that is wound into cakes (or plates or whatever). This week however, I started knitting with a different yarn - Einband.

Einband is an Icelandic single. In German, I think this word means book cover. Anyway, it's the absolute opposite of the Plötulopi. It's thin, compact and practically unbreakable. When I first tried it out, it felt as though I was knitting with string. I have two kinds - Loðband (above) and green mystery (below). I bought the Loðband at the Alafoss outlet and I bought the mystery Einband in a sale bin at the Handknitting Association of Iceland in Rejkyavik. It was wrapped in blank paper bands, noting the weight on each. 



















This yarn sticks to itself like a spider web, or like vetch. I wasn't going to post about it until I had a blocked piece to show, but frankly, I'm feeling in need of a bit of encouragement to go on with it. On one hand, if I had swatched, I'm not sure I would have actually started a project and the yarn would have languished. On the other hand, looking at it now, I have no idea whether it will be a success or not. It looks and feels like a loofah. Notice that I am saying loofah, and not scouring pad.


















That's a piece of Lily of the Valley lying on it. I'm using 2.5 mm (2 US) needles and I get about 50 wraps per inch (wpi). I love the colour, and I haven't given up on the yarn yet. It could be quite lovely. I'm knitting Sharon Miller's Doris edging knitted on the Russian way, as you go. I think this means that one side of the edging will be inside out, strictly speaking, but I'm sure that won't matter since I'm knitting on the return row, rather than purling. For the center, I'm using an all over pattern, also from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting. It's the Alternating Small Trees Lace Pattern on page 94.  You can see what it's supposed to look like on the link. The first 7 rows appear again (unnumbered) on the chart above the first ten (which are numbered). I'm not quite sure what to do with that so I keep repeating the first ten. Here's how it looks now:


















Quite dense, isn't it? I wonder how it will block out? How many unsecured ssk's will burst open into nasty holes? I will use it as a curtain for a small window, perhaps for the window in the front door if it's nice.

Next time, I'll write about our trip to Vik and the yarn shop at Þingborg.

3 comments:

Patti Blaine said...

You could put yourself out of your un-ease and knit and wash a swatch. Washing might soften it, make it bloom even.

And I'm guessing as I don't have the pattern in front of me, but the chart is probably indicating that you repeat the 10 rows but just do 7 at the end.

I'm a little in awe (and ok, a bit of envy) of your Icelandic yarn collection! I meant to tell you that Monday, and somehow the evening unfolded away from connecting with you. Much to my regret! Hope you're feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my friends have knitted a lot from the icelandic loðband, they use needles no. 4,5. It, gets a lot softer when you wash it.
Halla from Iceland

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