Thursday, January 14, 2010

Silk of my dreams

If you've ever looked at 19th century patterns, you've seen a purse pattern calling for purse silk.  I've often wondered what the purse silk was and have always substituted perle cotton crochet thread.  I was cruising through the online catalogue for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, one of my favorite places to be.  If you're into beading or anything in that line, these are the people to know.  I started thinking about the silk thread I'd seen before and wondering how it would work for purse silk.  But I had no idea how the sizes worked.

I ordered 2 spools, one is sized "FFF" which is the largest size, and one is "FF," the next smallest size, to test it out.  The gold is the FF and the orange is the FFF.   I loaded each of them with 11/0 beads and knitted these samples.  I have to say, the handle of the knitted pieces is so luxurious I can't even describe.  The thought of having a reticule knitted out of this stuff is taking me over and I suspect that I will have one before the weekend is out.  I don't know that's the case but I have very, very strong suspicions.

In case you're wondering, the beads on the orange thread are turqoise and the palest of yellows.  The interaction of the beads against the color of the silk has really affected the color of the beads and I think I kind of like it.

In other things going on, I've finally gotten back to working on the 1923 pattern for the Crocheted Pond Lily Breakfast Cloth.  I've finished the second middle piece (you can follow the link for a picture) and started on the 3rd.  I didn't take another picture because, believe it or not, it looks exactly like the first one!  Nevertheless, I have determined that if I follow the pattern exactly and make 6 middle pieces, I'll never own a table large enough to ever use it or display it.  And I've used just the thread it calls for - size 60 cotton.  So I"ve decided that I can probably make 4 of them and it might be a little more manageable.  Also, that means that I'm halfway done with the middle section and that sounds a lot better than 1/3 of the way done!  Once I finish these, the very center will be linen and then there are crocheted place mats that fit in between each of these "tongues."  Very pretty.  Very vintage.

I have encountered one problem though that means I really shouldn't be spinning in the same clothes that I work the crochet in.  It seems that no matter how careful you are when you're spinning, small bits of fiber stick to you.  And when you're crocheting with size 60 cotton and a size 12 or 13 crochet hook, the cotton picks up those little bits of fiber and works it right into the fabric.  I think I've got most of it out but now I have to either crochet first, spin later or crochet all night and not spin at all.  Rough.

Live and learn, right?

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