Monday, 10 December 2007

I might be swatching

Last in, first out. This is the yarn I bought eight days ago.

I love the colours used by Posh Yarn. I don't do the whole Sunday night frenzy thing, when the shop goes live at 6 o'clock and it's fastest finger to the checkout gets the goodies. Far too fraught for me. I wander in late on a Sunday night, or on a Monday even, if I'm feeling a bit flusher than usual and fancy a treat, and see what's still there. That was how the first skein of Helena 4-ply came into my life, two weeks ago. The colour is 'Emperor', and it is a truly Imperial purple, mush more vivid than the photo, with streaks of ultramarine. The Emperor must be Constantine, I thought, who transferred the Imperial capital to Byzantium (what a gorgeous name for a yarn that would be). His mother was Saint Helena, who ought to be the patron saint of archaeologists, being most famed for digging up the True Cross.

100 grammes was a generous quantity for gloves, or maybe even a beret. I didn't have a purpose in mind, I just kept it on the arm of my chair and stroked it every so often. Until Friday night, a week and a half ago, when I knew what it was going to be. I ran upstairs to find the vintage (11 1 ounce balls) Patons Purple Heather to confirm that it would be as good a match in weight and softness as I thought it would be. I found my copy of 'Heirloom Knitting', and begged the loan of Mum's 'Shetland Hap Shawls'. I even drew pictures. Finally I decided that to be safe I would need another skein of 'Emperor'. There were four left, but I would need to be there at 6 o'clock on the Sunday night to make certain of mine.

After squeaking and swearing and frantic pushing of F5, I got it, and last Thursday I cast on. Then ripped and cast on again on smaller needles, because 5mm were making too loose a fabric. Then ripped and cast on again on larger needles because 4mm were making too firm a fabric. Fortunately 4.5mm needles are working just fine, because there aren't any other intermediate sizes. I will also need a slightly sharper pair than the everyday Addis I'm using once I get onto the lace, for lace there is.

I am not a Goth. There were none, or very few, when I was a teenager, or I might well have been one. I had grunge instead, and never knew the joys of black eyeliner and floor-length crushed velvet coats (I'm describing a particular local boy here, who makes my day every time I see him, because he looks so flamboyantly fantastic and uniquely himself. Tends to horrify old ladies on the bus, but that I think may be his intention. I bet he's a vegetarian and really kind to kittens). So when I call this my Gothic Hap it is because the combination of purple and black calls Gothdom to mind, but it is meant as sincere tribute, not mockery. I was hoping to find a suitable name of a Gothic figure connected to Constantine, but could find none. Alaric and his mates were rather later, and Radegunde, which I rather wanted as a definitely female name, turned out to be a Frankish rather than a Gothic princess. I will have plenty of time to think, while I slowly garter-stitch my way to the centre, then decrease back to a single stitch, and worry about what I'm doing with the lace border. Making it up as I go along, largely, it usually works. The second skein of 'Emperor' is because after the purple centre, and the charcoal Old Shell border, there will be a purple edging, to tie the whole thing together, and I'd rather have generous leftovers than have to calculate how much to leave once the centre is done. I think I'm aiming for a small bedspread size rather than a ladylike shawl anyway.

1 comment:

mooncalf said...

What a beautiful colour - I'm sure it will look stunning!