Saturday, 30 June 2012

Shades of grey & gray

I mentioned in a previous post that I used to visit yarn shops with no plans, and usually managed to get out with just a skein or two of lace or 4-ply yarn. I have to admit, these days I still buy the single skeins, in addition to sweater volumes. And my new preferred colour for single skeins is... grey*.

Those of you who know me and my wardrobe might be surprised by this. I am not one to wear neutral colours. Admittedly I quite like khaki shades for hot weather (they somehow feel more cooling), but six years in Glasgow really turned me off black (why oh why will pale people living in the dreary north insist on wearing so much black??). And grey is a bit too close to black for comfort.

But over time as my knit collection has become riotously colourful, I've decided it's ok to knit neutral occasionally. Also, I took up weaving (well, I had good intentions to take up weaving), and the advantage of grey is no matter what shade you get, they usually match. So I thought it would be useful to have a supply of grey skeins for weaving shawls.

Unfortunately I haven't gotten very far with the weaving. I'm going to blame my cat and her obsession with string. If I ever get a craft room I'm sure I'll make more progress. Here is my first attempt:

This is supposed to end up as very useful hemp place mats... if I ever finish.

In the meantime, my little grey collection is growing nicely. My most recent addition was a skein of Fyberspates Scrumptious wool/silk lace I picked up at Woolfest.

fibres include linen, steel, silk, cashmere, camel, angora and tencel

And while the loom is occupied with the place mats, I thought I might as well go ahead and start knitting a linen scarf.

I was inspired by Six and a Half Stitches to do a modified version of the Cobweb lace stole by Michele Rose Orne. The original pattern involves a complicated series of different lace motifs.

© Interweave Knits

I think all those different kinds of lace on one stole is too busy, but the bell pattern on the border interspersed by rows of dropped stitches creates a really lovely airy effect.

swatch in linen fonty Calin and Habu linen/steel

I can only hope I achieve something as ethereal as Six and a Half Stitches.

© sixandahalfst

* A note on the spelling of grey/gray. Gray has become more common in America, grey in the rest of the English-speaking world, but I like to use both to distinguish between shades. Grey seems darker to me, and gray is more silvery. Here's an interesting post from the Grammarist charting changes in spelling over time.