my lacy little Summer Shawlette
OK, so I couldn't resist the goofy title. It's Monday, my laptop decided to die halfway through this post...but who cares, because we get to talk about lace knitting this week. Whoo!
Increases and decreases: That's really all lace knitting is--really! Yarnovers (increases) form the holes in knitting, decreases form the ridges and wavy lines that give shape to the holes. If you can do a yarnover and a k2tog, you can do lace...it really is that simple. But to a beginning knitter, or to someone who can't tell knitting from macrame, lace knitting is mysterious, exotic, the stuff of fairy tales. Well, OK...the truth is that lace knitting entrances even expert knitters, because, even when you know how it works, it's still just plain magical. Knit a bit of lace, and no matter how hard it really was, you still feel like you've created a bit of knitted sleight-of-hand.
By this point, you may have guessed that I adore knitting lace. Lace socks, lace shawls, lace on sweaters...give me holes in my knitting and I'm a happy gal. So imagine how thrilled I was when Pam Allen, then the editor-in-chief of Interweave Knits, called me one day to tell me that the Knits Staff project for the Summer 2006 issue was going to center around lace. I was SO excited
Blocking the shawlette that I almost missed the part where Pam said the words handspun Mongolian cashmere.
Cashmere. Plus lace. For a while there, I think I went a little bit lace-looney, thinking all sorts of Happy Lace Thoughts at odd moments. I read every lace book in the Interweave library. I swatched and sketched and mumbled excitedly to myself. I spent a couple of weeks charting and Doing Math and arguing left-slants versus right-slants with myself. At the end of all the mumbling, there was the Summer Shawlette: a miniature Faroese shawl, light and airy, lacy, but not so lacy that it looked like I was wearing my mother's Christmas tablecloth. I laid it out to block it, and could hardly believe that I had knit something that lovely. All the mumbling aside: the actual knitting of the shawl was the easiest part. Really. (The cashmere definitely helped, but still.)
A Little Lacy Survey For You...
So now you know that I love lace knitting--but what about you? What kind of lace knitter are you? That link will take you to a little survey where you can tell me about your level of lace-love so when I talk about lace the rest of this week (and in future posts up ahead), I'll have a better idea of the type of information you are looking for.
Questions about lace knitting?
On Wednesday and Friday, I will be sharing some answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about both the Summer Shawlette and the Comfort Shawl. If you have a particular question about lace knitting that you'd like me to answer this week, go ahead and leave a comment. And if you've already knit the Summer Shawlette, and you'd like to share a photo with us: Send us a link!
About Michelle's Yarn Bouquet: Michelle was very flattered that so many of you liked her little floral tribute to the Knitting Daily community! Here's her recipe for the bouquet, which is much easier than you might think: Take 3 skeins of colorful, fuzzy yarn. Mush each skein into the shape of a ball. Take three green knitting needles. Poke the "knobby" end of each knitting needle deep into the center of a yarn ball. Insert the needles into a flower vase, pointy-end down. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the vase and voila! Dr. Seussian Yarn Flowers.
Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.
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