A Gray Hairstreak, A Blackberry Snack, and the Flaming Lips

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I’ve been restless of late.

I know it’s ridiculous to be restless in Spring, there is so much to do. But no – I’m not going to get the stylist to color my graying hair or buy a motorcycle or start wearing nothing but five inch heels.

Even if you aren’t a crazy farmer/gardener/dyer you can get restless with your knitting and that’s where I’ve been for a week. After knitting several Monarch Shawls in sport weight I felt the desire to return to the skinny stuff – you know – the lace weight yarn.

Micro Midara lace yarn on size 3US needle

First I pulled out a skein of Micro Midara, a Lithuanian-produced very fine weight wool which is the primary yarn used in Estonian lace. Think 1531yds/1400 meters per 100 grams. Skinny yarn. Very skinny yarn. I perused my copy of Haapsalu Saal, the Estonian lace book which is more than a stitch dictionary, but since my copy is written in Estonian (although there is now an English translation) it is still basically a collection of lace stitch patterns and the variations on them.

I’ve always had a hankering to knit one particular stitch pattern in this book, it’s called Liblikakiri 1 – a simple translation is Butterfly 1. It is unique in that it combines nupps and cables. Yeah  – how cool is that?

While I liked the white Midara Micro on the first few rows of Butterfly 1 I decided it wasn’t exactly what I was needing. I glanced at the shelves beside my desk and spied a big skein of Oak Barn Merino in a pale gray colorway I call Hearth (1000 yards/914 meters per 90 grams).

On the drive into Tulsa on Friday night I cast on again for the Butterfly 1 using the Hearth colorway and a size 6US needle, then switched to a size 5US needle on row one. This little extra looseness will allow me to pick up stitches for an added border after I finish the center/body panel. I was working five repeats of the butterfly across the body and nine stitch nupps.

You know how I love butterflies right? I’ve dubbed this project the Gray Hairstreak. If you’re not familiar with the gray hairstreak butterfly I suggest you check out this website – Butterflies and Moths North America.  Lovely isn’t it!!!

Not only does this pattern have cables and nupps – the nupps are executed on the WS (wrong side) of the knitting. Usually nupps are created on the  RS (right side) and purled together on the WS. After several trials I decided (since I don’t speak Estonian and couldn’t translate the exact directions) that what worked for me was a p, yo, p, yo, p, yo, p, yo, p nupp (that’s nine stitches knit into one stitch while it’s still on the left needle). On the following RS row I knit those stitches together through the back of the loop thereby twisting them so they would lie correctly. (I’m absolutely certain I’ve lost my non-knitting friends now!)

Working five repeats across yielded a very wide stole sized width. I wasn’t sure I wanted that wide of a stole especially before I’ve even added the attached border so I frogged and started again knitting three repeats across. It’s not terribly wide but I like the width for a scarf and now can begin to troll through stitch dictionaries for a nice wide border to attach when the center panel is completed.

The Gray Hairstreak Scarf

As I said, I’m doing nine-stitch nupps. Now I’m a BIG fan of the nupps – which I was told is the Estonian term for button – but I’m wondering if nine is too thick. Should I maybe switch to a seven-stitch nupp? Hmmm

While my Gray Hairstreak was blocking so I could get a better look at it I decided to plant a few flowers that I bought at the farmers market yesterday.

Here’s my new ornamental lily called Blackberry Snack.  I’m quite excited about it!

And I bought a great little salvia called Flaming Lips.

I know – not great photos, especially of the little hanging bloom that does indeed look like a very red and pouty lower lip. 
Feel free to google the Flaming Lips –  I can assure you that you will get something interesting – primarily you’ll get hits for Oklahoma’s official rock band The Flaming Lips!

5 thoughts on “A Gray Hairstreak, A Blackberry Snack, and the Flaming Lips

  1. Amazing lily! As for the gray streaks – this short cut shows off my WHITE hairs in an absolutely amazing fashion.

  2. Hmm…I do think that the 9 stitch nupps might be a bit chunky. I'd try knitting a few 7 stitch nupps, maybe even trying a 5. Maybe just one repeat to see if you like it.

    The flowers are very pretty.

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