Faulty skein?

Pattern: Melon scarf from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby (review/preview here)

Needles: Blunti Stumpos, US 4 (3.50 mm)

Yarn: HandMaiden Sea Silk in Moss, 1 skein (438 yards), used up almost in its entirety.

Finished dimensions: approximately 11″ wide and 56″ long

A gorgeous pattern, knit with divine yarn, with a most pleasing result – it will be difficult to top this one.

The melon stitch which makes up the center panel was ridiculously easy to execute and remember. What’s more, it looks open and airy when spread out, full and textured when scrunched together – delightful either way.

My modifications to the written pattern were slight, all driven by my limited quantity of yarn: I worked the center panel over 50 stitches rather than the specified 70, and substituted the narrow point border (p. 183) instead of the wider one suggested in the pattern.

Attaching the border wasn’t too complicated, and the instructions in the back of the book were very helpful when it came to rounding the corners. Only the short edge of the scarf gave me a bit of trouble – initially the border looked too bunched up. However, this situation was familiar to me, and a little fudging fixed the problem.

I found HandMaiden Sea Silk a little sticky when worked on plastic needles, but it moved along smoothly on Addis. The yarn has a soft and drapey hand when knit up, though the fiber itself is very tightly spun – no splitting whatsoever! At the same time, it’s balanced, so no icky twisting on itself. I was worried about blocking such a firm and resilient fiber, but it really wasn’t a problem.

Last, of course I sniffed the yarn! With 30% SeaCell content, I expected a whiff of the sea every time I took the project out. But… I didn’t smell anything, contrary to what so many of you have found. Maybe I got a faulty skein??? I’d absolutely use this yarn again to double check :).

82 thoughts on “Faulty skein?

  1. jody

    really pretty. i love the fact that it’s such an old lace pattern but looks so “right” on you today. i agree with what you mentioned in an earlier post–stoles and scarves are the way to go with lace knitting. no frumpy grandma look, but you still get all the pleasure of knitting lace.

  2. Suzanne

    Well, you might be able to remedy the sea smell situation by zipping up to Porter Sqaure and getting some kombu (Laminaria japonica) from one of the Japanese grocery shops. The scarf is really lovely (here I may be repeating myself), and I am now equipped to make one as well; upon your recommendation, my odd uncle sent me a copy of the book.

  3. Lucky

    I love your scarf! I have this book too, but haven’t yet started a project from it. I have this gorgeous light aqua merino that is begging to be made into something like this. Your recommendation of the pattern makes me think it would be a most smashing scarf pour moi.

  4. nat

    It’s gorgeous – the yarn really makes that pattern stand out beautifully. I’ve started one in cashmere. You’re right, the pattern is really easy.

    I like the border you put on it, too.

  5. martha

    Absolutely beautiful. You’ve inspired me to get the book and knit the scarf. However, I’m going to get more than enough yarn to complete the project as written! No math for me!

  6. Daphne

    GORGEOUS. I’d call it a 100% success story. As for the “sea” in seacell, I don’t think it smells all that fishy (or maybe I just don’t have all that sensitive a nose!).

  7. Elinor

    It looks beautiful! Especially with the black coat! I love it. I’m so impressed by your diligence – I would have just bought another skein just in case I didn’t have enough. Once I realized I’d make it with just one skein, I’d sigh and resign myself to knitting something else with such a beautiful yarn. Aw, too bad, right?

  8. Peg

    Glad to read your comments on Sea Silk. I have a skein in my stash. After seeing that beautiful moss green scarf/wrap, I just might have to buy that book on lace!

  9. nikki

    How beautiful. It’s really neat that you squeaked that much scarf out of one skein, too.

    PS I really notice a difference with the new camera. (Not that before was icky or anything, mind you. :) Great pictures.

  10. April

    Thank you! (for the closer look at the corner) It’s gorgeous, I think I’m going to faint from the sheer beauty of that thing! I HAVE TO GET THAT BOOK! **sigh**

    (you are my heroine knitter chic – I wanna be you when I grow up hahaha) if I’m not grown up at 37 I think it’s hopeless, though.

  11. Kim

    Totally 100% awesome. Nothing else to say about it. The color looks very fresh on you; spring is around the corner! I have one skein of Sea Silk that I’ve been hording and wondering what to use it on. Seeing your scarf is very motivating!! Thanks for sharing Grumperina!

  12. Jen

    Oh that scarf is to die for!!!! Just wonderful. I am spinning some lime green fiber right now and I just keep seeing that color everywhere lately :)

  13. Carrie

    Love the scarf–I have a skein of SeaSilk that I’ve been holding on to, and now I’m itching to start something lacy with it. You’ve really made the most of the single skein.

  14. Alison

    Beautiful! If this unseasonable weather keeps up you’ll be able to wear it a lot (as opposed to swathing your neck and noggin in wool-ier scarves).

  15. Angie

    BEAUTIFUL. I must put that book on my must “buy with Christmas gift card” list. I just so happen to have 1 skein of Sea Silk…..

  16. kris

    it’s beautiful, kathy! and what a gorgeous colour.

    i just got the victorian lace book – will definitely try it out soon.

  17. Laura

    Beautiful. It makes me change my mind about square lace patterns.

    As for the lack of smell–I’ve sniffed Sea Silk and didn’t think it smelled anything like the ocean. And I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that there’s something on the order of Beautiful. It makes me change my mind about square lace patterns.

    As for the lack of smell–I’ve sniffed Sea Silk and didn’t think it smelled anything like the ocean. And I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that there’s something on the order of <1% seaweed in that yarn, so I wouldn’t expected it to smell like anything other than silk.

  18. LaurieM

    That’s a lovely piece of work and it looks very nice against your dark coat. How does it react to being tied as seen in your picture?

    I have one lace scarf and I find it tends to bunch in on itself with wear. So I hesitate to knit a new one. I don’t relish blocking my lace scarves every week.

  19. Amanda

    That is really lovely!

    I just got the book in the mail today (a slightly late holiday gift), and I’m very inspired by your success with that pattern. I’m also super excited because I’m using some gift $ to order my first skein of sea silk.

  20. gilraen

    Fantastic scarf. Seeing your progress through this scarf I bought the book and will have to try and use my saved Seasilk to do something like it. Thanks for all the extra info etc. :)

    So inspiring…………..

  21. liz

    Gorgeous. I adore that color (I used it myself). I found that my Sea Silk Swallowtail did not really have any smell after blocking. Before blocking, the yarn had a vaguely sweet smell, but nothing I would associate with seaweed in particular.

  22. Amber

    It’s lovely :) I’ve a skein of Seasilk too, and I just keep petting it! It does smell a little of the ocean…however, since only about 5% or less of it is actually seaweed fiber, I highly doubt the smell is original. Probably dyeing odors or silk processing or something. But I don’t care!

  23. Kim

    Breathtaking. Really. I had to take another breath when I saw that first photo. And stunning with the black background.

  24. Beth S.

    I’m catching up on everything I missed while I was away for the holidays, and oh my goodness, I’m sorry I missed the debut of your Sea Silk Melon scarf! It’s to die for. A useful size, a great color, and I really like the way the border substitution worked out. I want one just like it!

  25. Allegra

    I know I’ve commented on this post already, but I come back to visit it from time to time. I just received two hanks of Sea Silk in the Woodlands colorway. Mine do smell like the ocean. It’s pretty weird and cool at the same time! I plan to use on hank for the melon scarf, since I’ve been totally inspired by you! Do you think it’s a decent first lace project?

Comments are closed.