June 5, 2009
How many abbreviations can you use in a blog title? Thanks for all of the emails about the Girasole KAL. I’m happy that so many of you are jumping in! I thought I’d answer some of the questions that you all are emailing about, because I’m sure others are wondering the same things.
How do you pronounce that? I called it “Geer – a- sole” (hard G) for a long time, but the actual pronunciation is “Jeer-a-SO-lay”. Or “jeed-a-SO-lay” as the online “listen to the pronunciation” guide states. As Heather mentioned in the comments on Wednesday, that is Italian for Sunflower. So hopefully we’ll have a whole field of different-sized, different-colored sunflowers by the fall!
Is this pattern difficult? It does look like it might be, doesn’t it? Anything that beautiful when it’s done, surely must be intricate to knit up. The good news is that it is not hard. When I said that I thought of it as a perfect first lace project (or first chart-reading project), I meant it. There aren’t very many different symbols per line on the charts. That’s always easy to handle. Did you see Wendy’s blog post on chart reading this week? The first chart she shows reminds me of most of the Girasole charts. The second one she shows is much more complicated than the ones you’ll be doing on this KAL. And did I already mention that pretty much every other row is a plain ‘ol Knit row? Yep, a pretty easy knit. But we’re the only ones who have to know that. When you get yours done and are showing it around to people, you can totally let them believe that it was extremely difficult to produce.
What length of circular needles will I need? I see on the Girasole Rav board that some people have used a 60″ needle for the worsted weight. There is a point on one chart where you go from 320 stitches to 640 stitches, and I knit it onto a 60″ cable for that, expecting to need the extra space. The cable was waaaay too long for my knitting. I switched it back and I think I did the whole thing on a 40″ or 47″ cable. (Now I can’t remember.) I DO like all of my stitches bunched up because I find it easier to scoot them along to knit. It was definitely FULL on that size cable, knitting with size 9 needles. If you like things more spread out, then maybe you’ll need the longer cable. If you’re doing a lace or fingering weight version, the 40″ length (with size 6-7 needles in that weight) should be fine.
I’d like to do it, but I have too many other things on the needles at the moment. Ok, so that wasn’t a question. But I do want to point out that you don’t need to finish this until Oct. 1st, so there is plenty of time to join in later, if you want to.
I’m bad at starting and stopping projects. I’m not sure I’d stick with a project this big. Again, not a question, but I want to say that it is well documented that I’m the Queen of the Second Sock Syndrome. I probably have close to 40 single socks, with no matching partner. I also may be the Queen of UFO’s, because I’m constantly starting new things. (Of course I blame all of this on needing to try many different new/potential yarn lines here at The Loopy Ewe. I wonder what I’ll blame it on when I retire one day?) If I can stick with this pattern to the end AND want to cast on another one right away, doesn’t that say something? It really is fun to watch it unfold from your needles.
Does this have to be done in a solid/semi-solid? Not at all. In fact, the photo of Claire’s first Girasole is what made me decide to finally jump in and give this pattern a try, and she made it out of Araucania Aysen, a multi-colorway. It’s gorgeous.
I’d like to make a blanket-sized one that I can also toss in the washer. What yarn should I use? Dream in Color Classy is a worsted superwash that would be wonderful knit up in this pattern. (DC Smooshy and Starry would be beautiful for shawl-sized versions. We have a bunch more Smooshy going up early next week.) Keep in mind that you do need to block this pattern after you wash it, so a lot of people have knit it up in regular (non-superwash) worsted weight yarn – like Cascade 220 and Malabrigo. But for those who still want to throw it in the washer, even though they know they’ll have to lay it flat to dry, the DC Classy is an excellent choice.
Remember the offer – you can pick any yarn here at The Loopy Ewe that you want to use for this Girasole KAL, and we’ll give you that yarn for 20% off. (One discount per person, offer expires 6/15, and you must notate in the order notes that you are participating in the KAL and tell us which yarn in the order you will be using for your Girasole.)
I’m hoping to get my first one finished up over the weekend. Photos as soon as I can get it washed and blocked. I think that may end up being more difficult than the actual knitting…