Yes, I know I have to finish my Dragon Skin Rogue. If nothing else, the cow eyes staring at me each night it remains undone are enough of a goad (and today’s her birthday, too.) But I’ve got to find a nice, quiet slash of time to re-mount all those wounded stitches, and then figure out where I am on each side of the cardigan front so I can bring them back into sync. It’s not something that I can do in stolen ten minutes here and there as other things twirl around me.

But I CAN follow a chart in bits of looted time. Even complex charts. So to keep my hands busy while I’m waiting to unravel the mess that’s become of Rogue, I’ve started something else. My little, inconsequential time waster?

Hazel Carter’s Alcazar.

I bought the pattern a while ago, at the same time as Spider Queen, so I could decide which one to do first. I’m using the red rayon faux-silk I got at Webs:

While it has sheen, it’s hand is more like unwashed linen. A bit stiffer and less springy than silk. No where near as drapey as wool, but less spongy and heavy than cotton. There’s also a bit of an imitation raw Thai silk thick/thin thing going on, too. Enough to give the piece a less formal look than would a smooth finish thread.

I’ll do up a bit more and see how I like it. Possibly binding off what I’ve completed so far as a swatch so I can do some wash testing. I can say so far that I’m using a smaller needle than the pattern calls for. The rayon has no halo, and is very compact, so it looked too sparse on a US #8. I’m down to a US #4, and it looks good. It will probably end up being smaller than specified, but I really don’t mind.

So far the knitting’s easy. Carter’s charts are exceptionally well done and (provided you’re chart-minded) not difficult to follow. I prefer her pivot charts to full graphs. I take a highlighter and hit the pivot column, stick the thing on a magnet board, and I’m off and running.

New pix tomorrow of both the larval Alcazar and of the pivot concept, when Blog City has finished their hardware and systems upgrade.

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