If you've looked at my web site recent you'll have seen that I've used yarns in this lace collar that I prepared as demonstration for a cochineal dyeing workshop. The yarn is wool (commercial) and I knitted the collar to see how the colours would work together. I was intending to use the yarn to dye a sufficient amount of yarn to knit a Fair Isle jumper or probably cardigan – using my knitting machine. (This is over 30 years old and a Brother KH830 for those who understand these things!)
This has been a very useful exercise – not least because I do not like how the yarn stitches sit together – this is due to the structure of the yarn. I will knit my fair isle jumper/cardigan in Shetland wool, which ‘fulls’ when washed and the oil is removed and gives a much better finish. The yarn in this collar moves too much & the threads don’t mesh together – it seems unlike wool!
Then, really out of character for me I used a pattern just as it was - not a wise move in this case! The stitch is cockleshell lace, a beautiful traditional Shetland stitch. The pattern is from Kate Davies. I chose to knit the smaller cowl and although the tension sample appeared spot on the finished item is a collar rather than a cowl. I would have preferred a wider cowl that fell in soft folds with a smaller depth. Hence I am calling it a lace collar.
I am disappointed that the amazing lace design doesn't show up as I feel it should. There's a competition between the colours and texture. There's a lot to said for using one colour - a plain neutral- to really show up an intricate design. Item 10 [see later post] is the cowl I designed to finish the month.
It was an interesting exercise and shows how little bits of yarn can be used– there was 10 g maximum of each colour! It has really helped me know which colours to use (& which not to use) in my dye session for the projected fair isle jumper/cardigan.