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Nae is an absolutely wonderful, and free, pattern. But in my haste to get to work with this yarn, I'm not sure I made a good pattern selection. Nae is written for a fingering weight yarn, like a Madeline Tosh. This yarn is heavier than fingering, more like a dk weight, but it is a thick and thin spun and it moves seductively back and forth between a heavy fingering and a light worsted weight. It's not going to give me the crisp, precise stitch definition that may be what Nae is all about as I look at it now.
A second problem I may have is color placement. Nae is essentially a big triangle. You start knitting in one corner, increasing until you hit its full length and then decreasing from the point of the triangle until you end in the opposite corner. As you can see from the yarn off the skein, I dyed the roving with a longer run of blue-purple, a shorter run of yellow-orange, and an abbreviated area of green where the colors mingle. At the start, with just a few stitches on the needle, I'm getting lengthwise stripes of color. As the number of stitches increase, I'm not quite certain what I'll get, and I'm not sure it's going to work. So at this point, my Nae is a question mark -- will the fuzziness of the stitches or the way the colors play out or both doom this project to disaster?
EIther way I am already in love with this pattern and will be knitting a Nae. And the yarn is heavenly. It's soft and pretty and whether this is the perfect pattern for it or not, I'm sure there will be one out there. I am eternally optimistic, so I'm going to knit for a bit before making a decision. In the picture above, you can see the corner start of Nae, in blue-purple on the left. The top border of the shawl is a 3" deep border of moss stitch.
The stockinette triangle blooms out from beneath the moss stitch band (and is edged with a two-stitch garter border to avoid rolling) from in between the two stitch markers. It's difficult to see at the moment, but if you look carefully, you may see that I'm up to 5 stitches in between the two markers. Rather than increasing every other row per the pattern, I'm increasing on every fourth row for a looser shape and my plan is to increase to about 50 body stitches, or as long as the yarn holds out.
Finally, a word about the needles I'm knitting with. These are Darn Pretties from Dyak Craft, and I have no affiliation other than the fact that I seem to be tithing these days to the nice people who handcraft these needles in Vermont. The needles are made from a laminated birch product. I love knitting on them. Needles are a very personal choice. For me, these needles have just the right combination of slip and tooth. The yarn moves when I need it to, but never slips off the needle at inopportune moments. This is my fourth project on Darn Pretties and they have become my needles of choice. This particular pair is in the Hazelnut colorway. I was lucky enough to get a set of them from a Ravelry destash, and I do mean lucky because the waiting list to get your own custom made set runs north of eight months. I've been on the waiting list for "a few" needles since early this year, and can't wait for their arrival.
Keep your fingers crossed for my Nae and if you have any thoughts or suggestions about possible patterns for this yarn in case my Nae bombs, please leave them in the comments.