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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Old Russian American. Or about 5 rubles yarns, teeth and pattern allignments

So, once I had a thing for gradient yarns and went shopping for these. Felt like it, mostly to see how these are spun and how that can be done, because I did not see a commercial yarn with long enough color changes in lace at the time. It turns out many shorter color changes exist in sock yarns, medium long once also exist, very long ones like I wanted - harder to find, but I found them.  In my search I did refresh my 'old Russian' stuff and  has discovered some new American yarn marketing ways and found some not quite expected connections and transformations.
I discovered very quickly that if I want gradient yarn that would be wool, all other fibers I'd have to spin or color. The first thing I found was LYS find: Daphne yarn. merino wool, medium gradient. I looked like for a smaller project that would be a nice yarn, on a budget too, $10 range. colorway 07 was to my liking. So that went to stash.
Next I  looked for longer color changes... I went by culture, where that was in the folk crafts. Scandinavian and Baltic countries and their color works. Kauni or aade long 8/1 artistic yarn was a well known gradient yarn in Russia. I found that (power of internet). Its American equivalents would run me above $30 per skein, aade long did not break the bank and to this time I like its color changes the best. Several projects came out of it. I did elongate the gradient sections. Like here for example.
Looks nice in triangle as well. It's not the softest yarn and there are ways to soften it, but for the color, you know, they got me there.

After that I was looking for a bit more and almost immediately found yarn place graceful in 50gr and 100gr.
Thhat gradient is more challenging to cut and elongate, but in the end it works nicely in medium size objects, say 50cm long on the side crescents for 50gr balls of yarn. How to work with aade long and yarn place and hand spun gradient yarns went into Song of the Cranes pattern description.

I have several colors of yarn place graceful, just like I have in kauni yarn. And yarn place graceful made 'deja vu' appearance exactly like Treenway yarns did before surprisingly under the same re-branding label.
So here is one 100gr ball already cut and one uncut
teeth in here are rather large and 'lacey'.
The corners of my shawl are not turned with Galina's short rows. That method is not recognized in Orenburg as their method to be exact. And here is deja vu in orange-yellow colorway


How close one can get? re-labeled Treenway yarns match color to the notch just as well with Treenway silk yarns. Yarn place turned out much better price for me.
So my point here is that here I am making me my test project in the traditional technique like I always did from an 'approved' substitute yarn cause the label well, it's still on it, right, and the 'underwriter' has mentioned in her Orenburg knitting dvd that one would totally tear up corners of the shawl, make a major disaster and so on if they do not follow her technique. So here is the re-branded yarn, the second uncut green ball in the picture above with the lace teeth I'm making was from her show boot in fact, was not re-labeled that time so. I used it, but the lace disaster never happened. I never put extra teeth at the corners of the shawls on mine, never do any short rows, and whoever have seeing the dvd in Orenburg say they same - did not see that short row method before, do not recognize it, do not make it the same way.

So where the extra teeth would come from? I wonder. Thick aran yarn used in dvd - granted  - that yarn has different properties compared to lace or gossamer yarns. On the other hand no one in Russian teaches to lake lace on those thick yarns, they behave to differently. Sweaters and rugs - 'yes', lace - that's a 'no'.

I turn my corners at the narrowest point, by the book if such a term can be used :), I do not do short rows in my Orenburg goat down handspun yarn shawls, never did.
So, here is my turning the bottom corners step by step in pictures: first of all I do not start it here like dvd suggests, at the widest point.
 I do it here, at the narrowest
, then I do not bunch teeth ribbon in my hand 'all 27 of them' (teeth), I let the ribbon be and pick and knit every stitch, for all 57 of them in my case either from right to left (granny's method) or from left to right (traditional Orenburg gossamer method in my published patterns).
Do every stitch on the side to the bottom of it
pick up stitches from the bottom with my other needle like so
turn my work, knit to the end , finishing teeth pattern for my last tooth.
That easy and that simple. I do it like everyone else in Orenburg does it, no need to reinvent a bike for thin yarns, for nice not fragile yarns.

Pick the side stitches, pick the bottom stitches, turn the work around, knit to the end. Done

Here it is, all ready and we knit bottom up.

Yes it all sits on straight needles, I like it better this way, faster to knit for me.
It looks like so and all corners are turned. The famous warning, oh no, never do it other than short rows, you'l get that sock heel effect if you do it differently. I do not know, maybe I'm lucky or knit differently or tension yarn differently. The sock thin does not seem to happen to me. Just the same as it does not happen to Orenburg lace knitters. why does not it happen... I guess we just knit differently than Galina's students do who encounter that sock thing in their work. 

When I make a wider object because yarn place graceful has a particular mirrored repeat of colors I stop just about the change of the color, always when my color is still a solid shade not a transitional shade of the gradient.

So where is old Russian refresher  stuff? Gossamer knitting technique is old. And it turns out merino lace yarns have a Russian sister - 5 rubles yarn. yep, that one is from my late granny's stash

What is it many folk who were born in USSR know exactly. It was quite common yarn. There was plenty warm leggings made out of such yarn, nice and warm 'gamashi' we called them. And also warm winter undergarments. Hey, Orenshal factory makes those too. They are quite useful in the cold climate to keen once bottom warn and promote good heals in cold climates to keep the body warm.
And new marketing way for  merino lace yarns is to up sell these yarns into upscale yarns. Winter undergarments yarn does not sound that glam, not much to glamorize about. And indeed that's is exactly like cheap USSR yarn, 5 rub :). USSR has quite nice textile industry. not all was poorly made there as some may think.

Will I tear the teeth at the corner like Galina's dvd warns? Well, never has happen before with this type of yarn, and never with hand spun. But where did extra 2 teeth come from?
Olga Fedorova did not make shawls like that, Orenburg shawl makers say so.

Olga was fond of honeycomb based patterns. And these are it's own thing when it comes to their lace alignment, it's not a 45 degrees lace like diamonds made of diagonals. I have a gray shawl with one of her signature wide borders in this post

So the pattern I'm making in this gradient experiment is actually a white stole or shawl. It can be black  too. Looks like so.

It is geared to train knitter to get to the large shawl making (close to 60 and more teeth).
I did talk to Fedorova Valentina recently a she has mentioned something I've forgotten to think about. A lace misalignment misstate happens at times with honeycomb based patterns.  Here one goes and knits without a pattern and sets up lace by the teeth aligning it to the top point (max width at 5-th hole or narrowest width at the 5-th hole) in the beginning of wide border making, and at the end, oh-oh we landed on the mid tooth at at's widest point and we are done with our lace. Oh-oh, not good, because making the tooth would lead to extra 9 rows of garter right after wide border before the top teeth. The leading diamond for the pattern like that aligns at 3-rd tooth not at 1-st side tooth. That's the thing about the honeycombs  4 way symmetry and how this lace 'counts'.
So, the shawl is made basically, but it has a bug in it, well happens. The bug gotta go, it needs some 'hide me' thing. Some would cut to the chase, make this tooth 'to stick out' at the corner using something similar to a short row, not exactly like Galina shows so. In the lace that mistake in the alignment that was propagated from the beginning of the lace is hidden now. What a knitter should have being doing with honeycomb's like that is to put set up row 2 stitches above the tooth point. See the picture below

If one starts strawberry a the middle point of the tooth they will land on the middle of the tooth  at top right-left corners.
Someone who was making a shawl made a mistake and covered it up - extra tooth appeared instead of 9 extra rows between wide border and top teeth. If I'd mess up and shift my lace down like that and then fixed it adding extra toot at the top by the shawl corner, no one would be able to tell 57 teeth from 59 at the top unless they counted each one. Is it a reason to represent a possible quick bug fix as the regional technique according to the Galina's knitting dvd - well, you decide.

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