Friday, January 16, 2015

All about the marle

The Summer of the Single Skein is rocking along nicely, thanks to everyone who's jumped on board!  There's an enthusiastic lot of discussions going on over in the Ravelry group with people posting their plans, WIP's and FO's.  It's always so exciting to see not only what others are making but also their gusto as they embrace a new project or concept.  Feel free to come and join the discussion!

I'm really enjoying getting some things on (and off) the needles, and finally using up some of my special skeins.  It's funny too - what's "special" to me.  It might not look like anything out of the ordinary to others, but to me there is something about that yarn that has kept it in the must-find-perfect-project section of the stash.

This fortnight, I've really gravitated towards my collection of marled skeins which, again, have been too precious to use for some time now.

Within this group, I had two balls of Zara Chine which is your fairly standard 8ply merino I guess, so what makes it special?  This particular shade reminded me of composition notebooks from the minute I saw it, and I had big plans to make chunky slouchy socks with it but could never bring myself to cast on.  Truth be told, I'm not really a great fan of DK weight socks and I didn't want to waste my precious skeins. 

In the end, I made a squishy ribbed beanie in the style of Sons of Anarchy's Opie (oh how I miss that tall drink of water).  

samcro SOA hat beanie knitting

It was a good decision.  I absolutely loved the way the wool knitted up into a subtle marle fabric, and the resulting beanie is exactly the type I like to wear.

The pattern was a freebie found here.  For a simple beanie, it was well written with a nice variation on the crown shaping and a good amount of slouch.  It's one size only and I'd say it's a men's but I have a head on the larger side of women's standard sizing so combined with the 2x2 ribbing, it fits me really well. 

Adding to the marled knits this week was some more socks, using Lang Jawoll that I specially ordered last year from England.  Then promptly put into the Precious Stash Section.

knitted knitting socks marled lang jawoll marle handmade

The colourway is Baker's Twine and I fell in love with it from the get go.  It's one of those perfect blends of blue and white that makes me think of vast oceans and coastal skies.  

As a sock yarn, this one is on the lightweight side (think Opal) which does make them good for Summer, however I think if I use the other skeins I have of it for more socks, I will most likely go up in stitch count and down in needle size though.  The fabric is almost too loosely knit as I have done it, and I do worry about how they might stand up to wear?

Because I was keen to let the the marle stand on it's own, I decided to use my standard 60sts/2.5mm pattern base in a 3x1 rib.  To avoid too much purling, I knit the leg cuff 3 knit, 1 purl then when I got to the heel flap I flipped it inside out so the previously purl stitches became knit stitch spines.  Once I hit the foot, there were only the top stitches to purl so it really wasn't any more painful than knitting any other stitch pattern on socks.

Again, I really like the marled fabric this wool created.  It makes me so happy to see those flecky stitches coming together, and got me thinking about all the other skeins in my stash that I could probably combine to create the same effect.  Possibilities abound.

It's one of my favourite parts of the creative process, those moments when one thought or experiment begets another and so on and so on.  I need to remember to look for it more often and take notice when it unexpectedly pops up, one of my goals for 2015.

What's exciting you this week, and getting your creative flow going?


2paw said...

The colours in the socks really are bakers' twine-y. They look lovely, but I do see the slight looseness. I love the Zara Chine, it is so special and that's a great hat!! I must use some of my special one skeins this year. They are no use in a bag, not being worn some how.

rebecca said...

What a cracker start to the year for you. Summerofthesingleskein has got me pairing up skeins for two colour hats and i am really excited by the patterns coming out. Trying to alternate between this fun knitting and some socks taking FOREVER.

nicole said...

OPIE HAT! it looks fabulous!
i'm loving seeing all of the single skein creations you're whipping up (must check out the rav group)
super inspiring!

Caffeine Girl said...

I love that marled yarn. I think you picked the right sock pattern to show it off.

Anonymous said...

oh opie. i missed him too. these are both beautiful, reminding me of the simple effectiveness of good yarn and a nice rib. i am not going to commit to any KALs this year, life being what it is, but i am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.